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Explosion in Middletown Felt Miles Away
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An explosion Sunday at a natural gas power plant that’s under construction in Middletown has left at least 5 people dead and more than a dozen injured.

The explosion occurred late in the morning when workers were purging natural gas from pipelines at the plant site. Hilary Phelps was in her garage about a mile away in Portland when she heard a big boom.

“It sounded like the garage door had fallen off its tracks and I felt the windows in the garage shake. I did find out several people in town had windows that were damaged and things knocked off of walls as a result of the explosion. “

The explosion was felt at least as far away as ten miles from the plant. Search and rescue workers are using dogs to locate additional survivors. 

The 620 megawatt plant is being built by Kleen Energy Systems. It’s known as a combined cycle plant meaning it would first use natural gas to spin a turbine to create electricity. Then it would take excess heat from the gas turbine and use that to turn a steam turbine. Because it would make use of excess heat  the efficiency  is almost doubled. The Middletown plant was scheduled to go on line in less than 6 months .

For WNPR, I'm Nancy Cohen.