Yaffe Explosion folo

Saturday, January 1st 2005, 4:04 pm
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Fuel from the furnace at a Muskogee scrap metal plant may have caused Tuesday's explosion that killed two workers and injured two others, according to an industrial accident specialist who visited the site on Friday.

Roland O'Brien-Bills, president of Accident Inspection Specialists Inc., said both the magnitude of the explosion and the origin of the blast point to a fuel explosion.

``This furnace explosion blast wave was large in radius and is not something that occurs without a high source of abundant energy,'' O'Brien-Bills said.

Two men who were working at Yaffe Iron & Metal Co. Inc. _ Ernesto Chavez, 24, and Joaquin Prado, 38 _ were killed when the furnace exploded about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.

O'Brien-Bills said a furnace explosion is caused by an accumulation of unburned fuel that explodes from an ignition source. He said his impressions are based on reports of Tuesday's explosion.

The Yaffe furnace was fueled by diesel fuel, according to Yaffe Iron & Metal President Andrew Yaffe.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are continuing their investigation into the blast. They arrived Friday and have until Tuesday to finish their work on site.

Yaffe said Thursday the plant will reopen Monday and will stay in Muskogee.