Local and Federal Investigators on Scene of Fatal Accident in West Virginia

OSHA investigators, a four-member investigation team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and local police and state fire marshals have deployed to the scene of a fatal accident at the AL Solutions Inc. titanium and zirconium processing facility in New Cumberland, in the northern panhandle area of West Virginia.

Brothers Jeffery Scott Fish and James E. Fish were killed Dec. 9 as a result of a fire and explosion that occurred inside the plant at approximately 1:30 p.m. Employee Steven Swain remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit at a Pittsburgh hospital. Contractor employee Dave Williams suffered minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital for burns.

The CSB investigative team is led by Investigator-in-Charge Robert Hall, P.E, and arrived in West Virginia on Friday morning. New Cumberland police Chief Lester Skinner said OSHA officials have been on site since Friday, and state fire marshals also are on scene.

New Cumberland Mayor Joe Sargent said the city was ensuring investigators and emergency responders have the resources they need and that responders are properly informed and trained to respond in such emergencies. That includes working with county officials such as the sheriff's department and emergency management.

The mayor said after the initial investigations are concluded he would like to have city officials meet with AL Solutions managers to discuss how the city can help ensure the safety of employees and New Cumberland citizens.

“What are the hazards, and should we evacuate; and if so, when?” the mayor wondered.

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