By PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press
WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — An apparent steam explosion in a maintenance building at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Connecticut killed two people Friday, and a third person is missing, officials said.
“We received a report this morning that an explosion occurred at the West Haven campus of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System that resulted in two deaths in a non-patient care area,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement.
“Neither of the victims were VA patients and patient care was not affected. Emergency personnel are on the scene,” the statement said. “Our prayers are with the families of the victims of this explosion.”
Max Reiss, a spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont, said a third person was missing.
West Haven firefighters described it as a “steam explosion” at a facilities building a short distance from the hospital, their union said in a Facebook post.
State and federal investigators responded, Brian Foley, a top aide to state Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella, said earlier in a text message. He cited “an explosion type incident” with “serious injuries.”
The area of the campus where the blast happened was taped off by late Friday morning, but people were being allowed to enter and exit the main hospital building.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking into what happened, spokesperson Jim Lally said.
Associated Press writers Dave Collins in Hartford and Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.
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