Explosion remains under investigation

Oct 3, 2013

Officials with Greenville Electric Utilities Service say it will be at least two weeks before they know what caused an explosion which heavily damaged the local electric utility system’s steam generating plant in far north Greenville.

GEUS Consumer Services Manager Jimmy Dickey said the investigation into the Tuesday afternoon blast is continuing, but that there was nothing to report so far.

“Our goal is to have as much information as we can put together so that we can give an update at the October 17 board meeting,” Dickey said Wednesday afternoon. “That’s our goal is to have as much information by then.”

No injuries were reported as a result of the explosion, which was reported at around 3 p.m. Tuesday, and there was no disruption of service to the utility.

Boiler Number 3 at the plant exploded, blowing out a wall and creating a debris field of approximately 200 feet.

Dickey had previously said the boiler “experienced a significant tube failure, releasing a large volume of steam in a short period of time.”

Electricity for local use is generated at the plant, where the boilers heat water to produce steam, which in turn runs turbines, which rotate and drive the generators that produce electricity.

The boilers produce steam with temperatures up to 950 degrees under as much as 1300 pounds of pressure.