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TRAGEDY

Two killed, one injured in Barbour explosion

The Inter-Mountain photos by Tim MacVean Law enforcement officials with the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police and Philippi Police Department converse after an explosion at Midland Resource Recovery, a gas company located along Barbour County Highway in Moatsville, which took the lives of two people and forced another to be taken by helicopter to a hospital in Morgantown Wednesday afternoon.

PHILIPPI — Two people are dead after an explosion at a Barbour County gas company on Wednesday.

Law enforcement officials responded to an incident that investigating officer Chief Deputy B.M. Carpenter, of the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department, referred to as a “very big explosion” that lead to the death of two individuals and left one other injured.

The explosion happened at Midland Resource Recovery, a gas company located on Barbour County Highway in Moatsville.

“What we have, sometime this afternoon, early afternoon, there was a type of explosion — in which we’re not sure of yet,” Carpenter said during a press conference at the location. “We did have two fatalities. We also life flighted one out to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.”

Officials on scene declined to release the identities of any of the individuals involved until their families have all been notified.

The Inter-Mountain photo by Tim MacVean Barbour County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy B.M. Carpenter addresses the media Wednesday regarding the explosion that took the lives of two individuals and injured one.

When asked about the facility, Carpenter said, “They do some kind of decontamination, to my understanding, of tanks with an agent to decontaminate it so it can be reused, but right now at this point in time, we’re not sure of what kind of agent was in the container.”

An investigation is being conducted by the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police and West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office.

Also assisting were the Philippi Police Department, Philippi Volunteer Fire Department, Belington Volunteer Fire Department and Barbour County EMS.

In addition to local departments, several state agencies assisted, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

The Inter-Mountain photos by Tim MacVean Family and friends of those affected by Wednesday’s explosion console each other near the scene.

Barbour County law enforcement units block the entrance to Midland Resource Recovery in Barbour County.