TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Police and federal safety inspectors are still trying to determine whether residue in a storage tank sparked the blast that killed one worker and injured another in the town of Tonawanda on Tuesday.
Fire and hazmat teams rushed to the DuPont Plant on River Road Tuesday morning after an explosion in a storage tank rocked the area.
Lt. Nick Bado of the town of Tonawanda Police said, "The man who was working on that tank has died as a result of his injuries from the explosion. There is another man that was injured that was nearby, also part of the work."
A photograph obtained by News 4 of a cylindrical tank with the lid on a crane, was taken after the explosion. The tank that exploded once contained flammable vinyl fluoride, but was supposed to have been cleaned out before the men started their work.
OSHA Inspector Arthur Dube said, "It was emptied two weeks ago. There was probably a little bit of some unknown material left in the tank."
DuPont is said to have an excellent safety record. The men hired to maintain the tank were from Mollenberg Betz of Buffalo, a specialty contracting company that's been around for a hundred years, priding itself on its high safety standards.
"They fly the OSHA star flag, and it's the best of the best," said Dube.
The explosion sent shock waves through nearby residential neighborhoods.
Dennis Russell said, "What was that bang? My trailer moved, and it sounded like someone just grabbed the trailer and "boom!""
Jerry Brundage was watching television when suddenly he felt the impact.
"I thought an earthquake or something like that, just a quick one. But it was just one jolt," said Brundage.
OHSA says there was no release of any toxic material into the air, a determination that was reported later in the day. Two compliance officers from OSHA will gather evidence at the scene, to determine what sparked the explosion, in a tank that was supposed to be empty.
At least four fire companies responded to a large house fire in Blasdell.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan of South Buffalo and charged him with pushing Russ Ross to his death.
The Niagara County Sheriff's is on the scene of a suspected meth lab in Cambria.
Police say there were 32 burglaries, 20 in Albion, five in Medina, four in Oakfield and three in the City of Lockport.
Berry admitted filing 122 false federal income tax returns for people who had died. He must pay restitution for the stolen money.
Six-year-old Nya Ricks was chosen to light Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Tree of Hope Friday night.