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Explosion at Plant Bowen in Bartow County

Apr 04, 2013 -- 4:32pm

By: Andrew Carter & Kevin Karel (WRGA News)

UPDATE 6:40 PM:  Source from inside Plant Bowen confirms that a turbine was being 'purged' with hydrogen gas when the explosion occurred.  What caused the hydrogen gas to ignite is currently unknown. 

UPDATE 6:25 PM:  Georgia Power reports there are no serious injuries, but one minor injury from the explosion.  Crews were attempting to do maintenance work on 'coal unit 2' when the explosion took place. 

UPDATE 5:50 PM:  Natalie Sims with reports that a Floyd Medical Center source says there are no serious injuries from the Plant Bowen explosion.  All units have been released. 

Georgia Power has established a phone line for those wanting to check on family members working at Plant Bowen: 706-266-9902

Bartow EMA Director Craig Millsap says they are attempting to release non-essential employees at this time. 

LATEST POSTED 5:20 P.M. 04/04/13

A source from within Plant Bowen says the explosion took place on the south side of the facility and destroyed virtually the entire wall behind unit 1, unit 2 and unit 3.

Multiple sources say the belief of staff on sight is that the explosion was triggered by hydrogen.

Two mechanics who were in the area have been accounted for, and there have been no confirmed reports of injuries or death.

POSTED 4:45 P.M. 04/04/13

A source at Plant Bowen has confirmed there was a large-scale explosion at the facility. The cause remains unknown but the source says the explosion took place on the tripper floor, which is where coal enters the building from the outside.

There are no injury reports at this time. Bartow County Coroner Joel Guyton has not received information about any deaths at Plant Bowen resulting from the explosion to this point.

The Bartow County Sheriff's Department has issued a statement asking all residents to avoid the area as security is not allowing unauthorized personnel near the facility. Covered Bridge Road/Plant Bowen and area roads are CLOSED until further notice. 

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