Monday, May 18, 2009

Three workers killed in TEPPCO tank farm explosion in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Three men killed when vapors in a gasoline storage
tank exploded in north Arkansas likely died from the impact of the
blast, a coroner said on May 13.
Federal safety officials began their investigation into the blast at the
TEPPCO Partners LP facility near Searcy in earnest on May 13. They were trying to determine what killed the contract workers from Indiana.
Meanwhile, Arkansas officials acknowledged the tank fell outside of any state oversight and last underwent an internal inspection by federal authorities more than a decade ago.
White County Coroner David Powell told The Associated Press that rescuers recovered the workers' bodies outside of the crumpled storage tank after the explosion on May 12. Powell said the men's bodies bore no signs of being scorched by flames.
"There was no indication of fire. It was an explosion," Powell said. "The injuries were simply caused from the concussion of the explosion."
All three men worked for C and C Welding of Elizabethtown, Ky. Powell identified the dead as William Decker, 48, of Scottsburg, Ind.; Roy Mathis, 60, of Wheatfield, Ind.; and Stoney Powell, 45, also of Wheatfield.
Powell said the workers' bodies had been sent to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for autopsies.

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