Two killed in explosion at Connecticut VA hospital

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Two people were killed in an explosion at VA hospital in West Haven, Conn., on Friday morning, Veterans Affairs officials said.

A spokesman for the governor’s office told the Associated Press that a third person is also missing after the explosion. West Haven firefighters described it as a “steam explosion” at a facilities building a short distance from the hospital, their union said in a Facebook post.

In a statement to the press, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said the explosion occurred in a “non-patient care area” of the campus on Friday. The victims were not identified, but he said neither of the two were patients and medical care operations were not affected by the explosion.

“Emergency personnel are on the scene,” he said. “Our prayers are with the families of the victims of this explosion.”

The Associated Press reported that state and federal investigators responded to the scene and reported “an explosion type incident” with “serious injuries.”

Local television station WTNH reported that smoke could be seen rising from the building. State police earlier said they were assisting with an investigation of an explosion at the VA building in West Haven at the request of the city’s fire marshal.

State police said they were sending three detectives from their fire and explosion investigation unit.

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Charlie Grady, an FBI spokesperson in New Haven, told the Associated Press that state police are leading the investigation. “The FBI will assist Connecticut State Police as needed,” he said.

About

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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