The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continue to investigate the deadly blast that rocked the south St. Louis neighborhood of Soulard on Monday morning.
Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said a boiler exploded at the Loy Lange Box Company at 222 Russell Boulevard at just before 8 a.m. This resulted in three deaths and four injuries.
Jenkerson said the blast propelled the cast-iron boiler from the Loy-Lange Box Company almost 500 feet in the air before it landed on the Faultless Healthcare Linen Company.
Jenkerson described the impact, saying “this was a large boiler, the size of a full sized van.”
One of the victims who were killed has been identified as 59-year-old Kenneth Trentham of south St Louis. Trentham was an employee at the box company. Three new hires at the Faultless Healthcare Linen Company were filling out paperwork at the time of the explosion. Two of those employees were killed, and the third was injured.
Two of the four surviving victims remain in critical, but stable condition.
A third building, Pioneer Industrial located at 400 Russell Boulevard, sustained water damage.
Although the cause of the incident is still being investigated, authorities say it’s believed to be accidental.
Currently, surveillance video is being reviewed according to investigators in an effort to determine the cause of the blast.
Meanwhile, OSHA reports that Loy Lange Box Company has been fined three times since 2014 for safety violations. Those fines have totaled more than $12, 000.
It’s unclear if any of those citations were related to violations with the boiler or other equipment.