2 in Laundry Office Killed by Neighboring Blast

Posted April 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm

An April 3 explosion at a St. Louis box plant killed an employee there and sent a boiler flying 500 feet through the roof and into the air. It landed on another building owned by Faultless Healthcare Linen, where it claimed two more lives in that facility’s office area. Faultless COO Mark Spence confirmed for local media that the two victims were newly hired employees filling out paperwork in the office. 

"You just can't believe the size of this tank that landed in the office," Spence said. "It's just enormous. It's  emotionally overwhelming just to think what these people experienced."

Firefighters from the St. Louis Fire Department’s Collapse Rescue Task Force responded to the incident. Four additional people were injured in the incident that occurred around 7:30 a.m., according to news reports. Two victims are in critical condition, including a third newly hired Faultless employee who was pinned under the nearly nine-foot long, four-foot-wide cylinder. The boiler weighed roughly 3,000 lbs., the reports said.

A third building in this industrial section of St. Louis near South Third Street and Russell Boulevard was damaged, as an 8-foot-long piece of pipe pierced the roof of Pioneer Industrial Corp., the reports said. The pipe knocked out the building’s sprinkler system, but caused no injuries.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said his preliminary view is that the incident that began at the Loy-Lange Box Co. was accidental. Investigators will review records to see if the boiler was properly maintained. Investigators will also look for any surveillance camera video taken in the area that may have captured images of the explosion.  Witnesses said the explosion sounded like a bomb going off. Click here for details.