More Details Released About Explosion at Dubuque Water Treatment Plant

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

Emergency crews on scene of an explosion at the Dubuque water treatment plant on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (Katie Wiedemann/KCRG)

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By Aaron Hepker

Dubuque Explosion
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DUBUQUE, Iowa — Employees at Dubuque’s wastewater treatment plant are taking the day off after an explosion there Thursday night. It happened at about 6 p.m. at Dubuque’s Water and Recovery Center on the city’s southeast side. Investigators say the blast was in the plant’s incinerator. Most of the workers had already gone home for the day, but one worker suffered minor injuries.

Plant manager Jonathan Brown says shortly after 5 p.m. workers noticed the blower on the incinerator stopped running. One employee went down to the basement to restart the blower and we he did something went wrong and it exploded. Brown says it’s too early to tell what caused the explosion, but says it could have everything to do with the old age of the equipment. “It would be speculation but we do know that the incinerator is on it’s last legs. We’ve been piecing it together. We won’t know for sure until we can take it apart and actually climb inside of it,” Brown said.

As for that city employee who was injured, officials still aren’t releasing his name, but Brown says he’s getting a hearing check but is out of the hospital.

The man didn’t suffer any burns or major injuries. In fact Brown says he was at the plant on Friday to check out the damage.

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