Landfill Explosion

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

An explosion possibly sparked by a cutting torch killed a landfill manager in Ivy and shook a building more than 50 yards away.

Authorities say 46-year-old Horace Stephens of Albemarle County was cutting fuel tanks to sell for scrap steel yesterday afternoon when the blast occurred.

The cause of the explosion was under investigation. Two possibilities were that the cutting torch malfunctioned, or that it reacted with fuel in one of the tanks -- which are supposed to be empty before they are sliced up.

Lawrence Tropea Junior, executive director of the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, says the fuel tanks had been at the landfill for about two months, but it was unclear who had delivered them.

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