Father of Four Killed in DuPont Plant Explosion

November 10, 2010 Updated Nov 10, 2010 at 7:31 PM EDT

...
November 10, 2010 Updated Nov 10, 2010 at 7:31 PM EDT

TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) - Company officials for Mollenberg Betz revealed the identities of the two victims of Tuesday's explosion at the DuPont plant in Tonawanda.

57-year-old Rich Folaron was killed instantly when the 10,000 gallon tanker exploded Tuesday just before noon. Folaron, who is from South Wales, leaves behind a wife and four children.

Injured in the explosion was Bill Freeburg of Angola, who is expected to make a full recovery.

Tuesday's incident is the first serious accident in the 100 year history of Mollenberg Betz, and OSHA inspectors say both DuPont and Mollenberg Betz have exemplary safety records.

Investigators from the State Department of Environmental Conservation and OSHA are trying to find out what triggered the explosion. They do say the plant has a solid safety record and the 10,000 gallon tank was properly prepared. "Was cleaned two weeks ago and was ready for work," said Mike Stratton, Assistant Director for OSHA Buffalo.

"Took out all the proper permits... so as far as we know we were told everything was ready to go," Art Dube, the Area Director for OSHA Buffalo, said.

Town of Tonawanda Police are calling this an industrial accident and are continuing their own investigation. "Because of the fact that a man lost his life here and it was a large scale incident, we want to investigate it as thoroughly as possible so we can rule out any potential for something we should have investigated," Lt. Nick Bado, with the Town of Tonawanda Police Department, said.