OSHA: Probe of St. Louis boiler blast could take months - KMOV.com

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OSHA: Probe of St. Louis boiler blast could take months

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A boiler-plate explosion in Soulard was captured on surveillance camera at a nearby BP gas station. Credit: BP A boiler-plate explosion in Soulard was captured on surveillance camera at a nearby BP gas station. Credit: BP

ST. LOUIS (AP and KMOV.com) — A federal investigation into a St. Louis boiler explosion that killed three people and injured four others, two of them critically, could take months to complete, a spokesman for the investigative agency said Tuesday.

Scott Allen with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration called circumstances involving Monday's blast "complicated," adding that by law OSHA has six months to complete an investigation.

Allen said there were no preliminary findings as of Tuesday to indicate what caused the explosion about 7:30 a.m. Monday at Loy-Lange Box Co., where authorities said a van-sized boiler blew up and was launched hundreds of feet into the nearby Faultless Health Linen building.

One of the victims, 59-year-old boiler specialist Kenneth Trentham, died at the box company, and the other two died at the laundry facility. Four other people were injured, two of them critically. Their medical conditions were not immediately clear Tuesday.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson has said he believes the explosion was a commercial accident.

Trentham, the only victim to be publicly identified as of Tuesday afternoon, was one of three engineers at the company with up-to-date city licenses required for operating boilers, a spokeswoman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said. Maggie Crane added that Trentham was a city-licensed stationary engineer authorized to work with boilers since 1996 when he was hired at Loy-Lange.

Faultless was up and running on Tuesday, the plant employs more than 1,000 people. 

Neighbors and those work nearby say the neighborhood has been somber since the explosion.

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