Two people died and a third was injured in a May 24 explosion at Midland Resources Recovery in Barbour County, West Virginia. Midland President Jan Strmen, 72, of Canada, and employee Justin Marsh, 19, originally of Clarksburg, now of Philippi, West Virginia were both killed in the explosion which occurred just after 11 a.m. The name of the injured man, 55, has not been released. He is on life support in critical condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

Midland, located on Barbour County Highway in Moatsville, WV, provides gas odorization products and services. Natural gas and liquid propane are odorless. As a safety measure,  a foul-smelling chemical such as mercaptan is added to them to provide a warning of a leak. On the morning of the explosion, the three men were decommissioning and odorant tank.

Local, state and federal agencies are investigating the explosion including the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office, the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office, the West Virginia State Police, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined.

Explosion Smoke Dangers