Two dead, one missing in blast at Connecticut veterans hospital outbuilding
WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — An apparent steam explosion in a maintenance building at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Connecticut killed two people Friday, and a third person is missing, officials said.
“We received a report this morning that an explosion occurred at the West Haven campus of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System that resulted in two deaths in a non-patient care area,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement.
“Neither of the victims were VA patients and patient care was not affected. Emergency personnel are on the scene,” the statement said. “Our prayers are with the families of the victims of this explosion.”
Max Reiss, a spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont, said a third person was missing.
State emergency management officials are actively working with local and federal officials to respond to the explosion that occurred this morning at the West Haven VA Medical Center and will continue to provide as much aid as necessary to conduct an investigation. (1/3)— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) November 13, 2020
West Haven firefighters described it as a “steam explosion” at a facilities building a short distance from the hospital, their union said in a Facebook post.
State and federal investigators responded, Brian Foley, a top aide to state Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella, said earlier in a text message. He cited “an explosion type incident” with “serious injuries.”
The area of the campus where the blast happened was taped off by late Friday morning, but people were being allowed to enter and exit the main hospital building.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking into what happened, spokesperson Jim Lally said.
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