Fire Chief: 3 killed, 4 injured when boiler exploded in Soulard


ST. LOUIS ( – Three people were killed and four were injured when a boiler exploded in Soulard.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said a large boiler exploded at the Loy-Lange Box Company in the 220 block of Russell Boulevard Monday morning. The boiler, described as a being about the size of a van, then crashed into the administrative area of the Faultless Healthcare Linen building, located in the 2030 block of Broadway.

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Jenkerson said one person at the Loy-Lange Box Company and two people from the Faultless Healthcare Linen building were killed during the explosion.

One person was trapped under the hot boiler at the Faultless Healthcare Linen building when emergency crews arrived, according to Jenkerson. He also said that person was taken to the hospital in very critical condition. Two other people from the building sustained serious injuries.

One person from inside the Loy-Lange Box Company was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, Skyzoom4 was over the area near 3rd Street and Russell, where fire officials were seen.

“Fire investigations is on the scene and they’re pulling all the records [for the boiler]. We’ll take a look at their maintenance schedules on all these boilers and we’re also going to bring the building department in and take a look at that as well,” said Chief Jenkerson. “These boilers, when they get pressurized they get very dangerous,” said Chief Jenkerson. “It takes a licensed boiler operator to operate these things.’

In addition to the Loy-Lange Box Company and Faultless Healthcare Linen buildings, a pipe went through the Pioneer building in the 400 block of Russell, but there are no known injuries.

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“Right now all of the utilities have been shut down to all the buildings. The situation is under control, we’re just trying to piece this thing all together,” Chief Jenkerson said. “The scene has been controlled and were fairly confident of that right now, we’re gonna go through the process of trying to piece this back together.”

Shortly after the explosion was reported, Jack Coatar, the 7th Ward Alderman, told News 4 he spoke to an officer on scene who reportedly said there were multiple fatalities. He also said the officer told him there was an explosion at one of the buildings in the area which sent parts of a tank through the roof of a neighboring building.

“I got down there probably fairly soon after the incident and there were first responders running everywhere trying to access the situation,” the Alderman said. “That’s why it’s so important that for the next few hours folks give first responders some space to work, stay away from the intersection of Seventh and Russell and give these guys a chance to get the scene cleared.”

Mayor Francis Slay took to Twitter to let the victims know they were in his “thoughts and prayers.”

Thoughts and prayers for the victims of the boiler explosion at Russell and S. Broadway, their loved ones and coworkers. #fgs

— (@MayorSlay) April 3, 2017

The area is currently blocked to traffic.

No other details are known.

Stayed tuned to News 4 and for the latest on this breaking news.

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