Source AP ©

Three killed in water tube blast at power plant

Three workers killed in the explosion of a water tube on a boiler at a US power station.

The three were severely burned by high pressure steam following the explosion at Salem Harbor Power Station on Tuesday.

The men were working on the ground floor near the boiler when the tube ruptured about 20 feet (6 meters) above and blew steam on them, said Dominion, the Richmond, Virginia-based energy company that owns the power station.

The company said two of the men were operators and one was a mechanic.

"All of Dominion is greatly saddened at the deaths of these men," said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and chief executive officer.

The power station was shut down Wednesday for an undetermined period so the company could assist employees and conduct a full safety review, the company said.

The boiler tubes contain high-pressure, high-temperature water and steam that turn the turbine-generator, which spins to produce electricity. The company said there were no indications of any problems before the rupture.