Boiler explosion in St. Louis kills three, sends debris several blocks

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-Three people are dead and four were injured after a boiler exploded at a box company in Soulard. It happened shortly before 8 a.m. at the Loy-Lange Box Company located at 222 Russell Boulevard.

Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX Helicopter was over the scene.

According to St. Louis City Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, a van-sized piece of the boiler went airborne and crashed through the roof of Faultless Healthcare Linen, located at 2030 S. Broadway. A third building, Pioneer Industrial located at 400 Russel Boulevard, sustained water damage.

There are three confirmed fatalities.

One victim was found dead inside of Loy-Lange. Another person found is listed in critical condition.

Two people were found dead inside of the Fautless location. The fourth victim, who was found under the boiler, was taken to the hospital in very critical condition.

Two others were seriously injured.

Jenkerson says it's unclear if anyone was working on the boiler at the time.

The St. Louis Fire Department says the explosion is affecting three buildings with debris. The Collapse Rescue Task Force along with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department are investigating.

Russell, east of Broadway, is blocked at this time. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area.

FOX 2 has learned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the incident. Their safety and health compliance officers are at the scene.

OSHA compliance officers will speak with the Loy-Lange and any potential witnesses to determine what the cause of the explosion. The are also trying to determine if the employer was following all safety and health regulations.

This graphic shows the path the boiler flew through the air before crashing through the linen cleaning facility.