EMT and emergency response team

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December 10, 2010

Over 20 workers at an aluminium plant in West Virginia survived an explosion that happened Thursday at about 1:30 p.m.

Two people are dead and two others are burned from the explosion which bellowed smoke and took firefighters until 5:30 p.m. to put out the hot spots, reports Firehouse.com.

The deceased have been identified as two brothers, 39-year-old Jeffery Scott Fish and 38-year-old James E. Fish.

A third employee, 27-year-old Steven Swain, was badly burned and has been receiving surgery and other treatment at a Pittsburgh hospital.

The second injured victim was Dave Williams, an outside contractor who was at the AL Solutions Inc. plant at the time. He was being treated for burns to his hands and face.

It was originally reported by the company at about 6 p.m. Thursday that a third person perished, but this statement has since been retracted, confirming only two deaths.

The facility is across the road from a row of homes, but none were evacuated although debris from the explosion littered many yards.

A woman who lives nearby remarked on the aftermath of the explosion.

"We heard someone screaming, which was just blood chilling. As it was happening, it terrified our two young babies. They were screaming and I went outside and it looked like someone had been blown out. He was laying on the ground and just charred," said Ursala Greenwood.

This marks the fourth fire at the facility, the third with a fatality. In 2006, an explosion and fire at the plant killed a worker in the production building. In August 1995, another worker was killed.

Tips to Survive an Explosion

An explosion can be one of the most dangerous things for a person. These tips can help you survive an unexpected explosion.
  1. Look for signs that an explosion is imminent.
  2. React quickly. Emergency situations do not often allow time for self-doubt, so trust your gut instinct.
  3. Seek cover behind a large solid object that preferrably is not flammable.
  4. Lower your body to the ground. Lay flat on your stomach if this is possible.
  5. Cover your head with your hands and keep your face down. Do not get up and look to see the explosion.
  6. Remain in the covered position throughout the initial blast. Expect loss of breath because oxygen may be displaced depending on the strength of the explosion.
  7. Check yourself for wounds before trying to evacuate to safety.
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