Victims of Dexter methane explosion identified - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Victims of Dexter methane explosion identified

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This image was captured from SkyFox as it flew over the site of the methane gas explosion. This image was captured from SkyFox as it flew over the site of the methane gas explosion.
DEXTER, Mich. (WJBK) -

The victims of an explosion at Dexter's wastewater treatment plant have been identified.

Police say 48-year-old Michael Koch of Brooklyn was killed in the blast on Monday. 23-year-old David McBride of Howell was seriously injured and is listed in table condition.

On Monday Dexter Fire Chief Loren Yates described the incident as a flash explosion saying his fire crews didn't have to fight flames, but needed to act fast to rescue the victims who were blown into the air by a methane gas explosion.  One man landed on top of a roof, the other, he said, near a stairwell.

"We were in a tremendous hurry to try and get him off that roof and get him to the hospital," Yates said.

Ambulances rushed both men to the University of Michigan Hospital where Koch later died from his injuries. 

The two men were working for A.Z. Shmina Incorporated based in Brighton.  We're told they had been working to remodel a holding tank for months.  They were using a welding torch to cut the steel beams that surround the structure when the sparks from the torch triggered the blast.

So far there has been no comment from A.Z. Shmina or authorities who run the treatment plant.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department said it was an industrial mishap and no foul play was involved.

Yates was asked what went wrong. "I think that's what they're investigating right now," he replied.  "I assume they know what they're doing, but why this happened I don't know."

The state came out to try and find out if these workers violated any safety standards.  We're told MI-OSHA did complete its preliminary investigation, but will not release its findings until the entire investigation is completed.

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