Altoona, PA Generating Plant Explosion, Aug 1977


Altoona, Pa. (AP) -- Five men were killed and a sixth critically burned Sunday when a pipe carrying
750-degree steam burst at an electric generating plant near here, state police said.
The men were doing a routine turbine washing about 6:40 a.m. at the Pennsylvania Electric Co. plant in Catharine Township when the main 12-inch
steam line ruptured, state police said.
Six of the "eight or nine" men on duty were working near the pipe, according to a company spokesman.
Police said the five dead men were asphyxiated by the steam.
Pronounced dead at the scene by Blair County coroner Charles Burkey were:
ROBERT C. RUPERT, 56, of Saxton.
HOWARD W. PORT, 60, of Petersburg.
MACK G. BLACK, 44, of Dudley.
WILLIAM K. HENDERSON, 59, of Martinsburg.
HOWARD W. KIFER, 61, of Saxton, was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Mercy Hospital here.
The sixth man, JOHN N. RABITS, 54, of Williamsburg, sustained third-degree burns and was in critical condition at Mercy Hospital's burn center.
The cause of the mishap was not immediately known. The company spokesman said the rupture was under investigation.

The Morning Herald Uniontown Pennsylvania 1977-08-08