Explosion, Fire in Sewage Plant Blamed on Mechanical Failure

QUINCY, Mass.  – Investigators have determined that an explosion and fire in a sewage treatment facility near Boston that injured five workers was caused by the mechanical failure of an industrial circulation fan.

The state Fire Marshal’s office and the Quincy Fire Department said Wednesday that the fan’s failure led to the release of a sulfur-based dust cloud, which exploded and led to the fire Monday at the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority’s Nut Island Headworks in Quincy.

The area where the fire occurred is several stories underground.

Five MWRA workers suffered smoke inhalation and were treated at a local hospital.

The workers were performing maintenance on an odor-control system at the time.

Authorities say there was never any danger to the public.