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Police: Plant explosion that killed 1 appears accidental

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 30, 2015 2:48 PM
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(Morgantown) --State police say an explosion at a midstate manufacturing plant that killed a Lancaster County worker over the weekend appears to have been accidental, but the exact cause is still being sought.

Emergency crews in Berks County were called to the Timet titanium plant in Caernarvon Township just before 11 p.m. Friday. Officials said 27-year-old Jacob Lopez of Ephrata was pronounced dead shortly before 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

Police at the Reading barracks say a five- or six-foot-tall boiler that was 20 to 25 feet in diameter exploded while using titanium for production, injuring several other people and damaging the building.

Police said "the exact cause of the explosion and the reason for ignition" remain under investigation. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating.

An earlier story is below:

A Lancaster County man has died after an explosion at a Berks County manufacturing plant.

Emergency crews in Berks County were called to the Timet titanium plant in Caernarvon Township just before 11:00 p.m. Friday.

Deputy Coroner Christopher Chesonis pronounced 27-year-old Jacob Lopez of Ephrata dead shortly before 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

At least one other person was transported to Reading Hospital for treatment.

Township police officer Matthew Menna says the blast happened in the melt shop of the plant, but there was no fire by the time officers arrived.

The state police fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the explosion.

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