Two dead and one missing after steam explosion at veterans’ hospital

West Haven VA Medical Center

Officials said the explosion at the West Haven campus of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System was in a non-patient care area of the building.

“Neither of the victims were VA patients and patient care was not affected. Emergency personnel are on the scene,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement.

“Our prayers are with the families of the victims of this explosion.”

Max Reiss, a spokesman for Governor Ned Lamont, said a third person was missing, according to the Star Tribune.  

Quoting law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity, The Associated Press reported that the explosion occurred in a maintenance area of the hospital campus on Friday morning.  

A Veterans Affairs spokesman told local WTNH news that the two victims were fixing a leak in the campus’ steam plant when the explosion occurred. They reported that one of the victims was a hospital employee while the other was an outside contractor.

While it was unclear what caused the explosion, smoke could be seen rising from the building.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations was called to the scene to join state and local investigators, along with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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