The high-pressure steam explosion at Salem Harbor Power Station Tuesday has claimed the lives of three workers.

The high-pressure steam explosion at Salem Harbor Power Station Tuesday has claimed the lives of three workers.


Two of the men were operators and one was a mechanic. They were working on the ground floor of the power plant on Fort Avenue at about 8:50 a.m. near the Unit 3 boiler, “when a tube ruptured, blowing steam onto them 20 feet below,” according to a statement issued Wednesday by Dominion, the parent company of Salem Harbor Power Station.


The victims’ names and residences have not been released at the request of the families, according to Dominion.


The boiler tubes contain high-pressure steam and water that power the turbine generator, which spins to create electricity. Officials had said Tuesday the steam was about 320 degrees, and carried about 2,000 PSI of pressure.


The three men were taken to local hospitals and later transferred to Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, where they died late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.


Power station officials have not determined the cause or exact location of the boiler tube break, and said there was no indication of a problem with boiler Unit 3 until the accident.


State agencies were at the station on Tuesday to investigate the incident.


Workers shut down boiler Units 1 and 2 late on Tuesday, after the accident with Unit 3 occurred. Unit 4 had not been operating that day, according to officials.


All non-essential employees at the power plant, which employees about 150 people, were sent home Tuesday.