3 people killed, 4 others injured after boiler explodes in St. Louis
The explosion happened Monday morning at the Loy-Lange Box Company, a custom box manufacturer located in an industrial area of south St. Louis.
A van-sized piece of the boiler went airborne and crashed through the roof of Faultless Healthcare Linen, located a block away, said St. Louis City Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, according to KTVI TV.
The fire chief confirmed three fatalities, one person at the box company and two at the Faultless Healthcare Linen building. Two of the injured victims sustained critical injuries, with one pinned under the boiler where it landed in the linen company. Two others had non-life threatening injuries.
Jenkerson says it's unclear if anyone was working on the boiler at the time. It was housed in an office area of the building.
“Fire investigations is on the scene and they’re pulling all the records [for the boiler]. We’ll take a look at their maintenance schedules on all these boilers and we’re also going to bring the building department in and take a look at that as well," said Jenkerson, according to KMOV.
"These boilers, when they get pressurized they get very dangerous," he added. "It takes a licensed boiler operator to operate these things.”
Jenkerson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the explosion seems to have been accidental and that investigators will review machine maintenance records.
Fire officials said the explosion affected three buildings with debris. The Collapse Rescue Task Force along with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department are investigating.
“Right now all of the utilities have been shut down to all the buildings. The situation is under control, we’re just trying to piece this thing all together,” Chief Jenkerson said. “The scene has been controlled and were fairly confident of that right now, we’re gonna go through the process of trying to piece this back together.”