Explosion at biomass plant kills three

BRILON, GERMANY - An explosion at a biomass plant sited at one of Europe's largest chipboard-manufacturing factories resulted in the deaths of three workers February 5.

The blast occurred at the Brilon chipboard plant in North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany, when a thermal-oil boiler exploded. This is the second fatal power plant-related explosion in less than week. The deaths in Brilon preceded the massive blast at the new Middletown Energy Center gas-fired power plant in Connecticut at the weekend, which blew part of the structure away, killing five contractors and injuring a dozen more.

Egger Group, the owners of the Brilon plant, said that a replacement boiler exploded. In a statement, the company said: "The accident occurred in the biomass heating plant on the premises of the Sauerland wood-based material manufacturer. A replacement boiler, which had been recently approved by a certified companyÂ… exploded. The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation. Egger is fully supporting these investigations.

Company management has informed the families of the deceased employees about the accident, expressed its condolences and pledged its support. The employees were aged 21, 59 and 62 years."

The explosion caused a fire, which took 47 fire fighters 90 minutes to bring under control. More than a 1,000 people are employed at the plant.


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