OSHA investigating deadly St. Louis explosion

It didn't seem possible, but the heartbreaking story of the boiler explosion in Soulard that killed three has grown more somber.

Two of four survivors are critically injured, including a linen company worker who was found pinned beneath the boiler, which Jenkerson said was roughly 4 feet in diameter and 10 feet long, and weighed about a ton-and-a-half.

Three buildings were damaged in the explosion.

Police have identified the man killed at Loy-Lange Box Company as 59-year-old Kenneth Trentham of the 4500 block of Tholozan Avenue.

The explosion also caused an 8-foot pipe to crash into the roof of the Pioneer Industrial Corp., which is located near Loy-Lange. 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. More than sixty-five firefighters of the St. Louis Fire Department responded to a call within 15 minutes.

The scene is under control and no foul play is suspect, according to fire officials.

Investigators will seek out and review the boiler's inspection and maintenance records, despite believing initially that the explosion was accidental.

Investigators from the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration were working on the scene.

It was not immediately clear if anyone was working on the boiler at the time of the deadly incident.

Photo from St. Louis Fire Department shows damage at Loy-Lange Box Co.

The company, founded in 1897, produces corrugated cardboard boxes as well as product displays, according to its website.

One victim was found dead inside of Loy-Lange.

The names of two people killed when much of the boiler landed in a laundry haven't been released.

Spence, the Faultless Healthcare Linen executive, said in a statement that that company "immediately will be giving what practical help we can to our employees and their families".

"It was first thing in the morning, we heard a loud boom and stuff started shaking and a light fell", Littrell said.

According to the Associated Press, federal workplace safety regulators say Loy-Lange has paid fines for workplace violations three times since 2014. The company was fined $6,556 in penalties then. The company failed to carry out its annual inspections of energy-related machines and failed to train employees adequately.

  • Salvatore Jensen