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Lawsuit: Profits over safety in Weirton, W.Va.

Complaint alleges BOP demolition exposed neighborhood to toxins

By Linda Harris for The Weirton Daily Times

GONE IN A CLOUD OF DUST — Debris begins to settle after the demolition of the basic oxygen plant on March 9.

WEIRTON, W.Va. — Using explosives to bring the old Weirton Steel Corp. basic oxygen plant to the ground was cheaper, but exposed residents living nearby to toxic elements and heavy metals, a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Hancock County claims.

The suit, filed in Hancock County Circuit Court, alleges at least 78 residents and property owners were irreparably harmed by the March 9 implosion, which sent an enormous cloud of dense black smoke into the air and showered the Weir Avenue neighborhood directly behind it with particulates. Extraordinary vibrations from the blast also damaged buildings in the Weir Avenue neighborhood, the complaint states.

The suit also suggests the owner of the mill property, Frontier Group, put corporate profits above public safety, alleging the use of explosives to bring the structure down was nothing but “a less costly way…to demolish the building, rather than…the safer method of cranes, welders, riggers and cutting torches.” …

Read more: https://www.weirtondailytimes.com/news/local-news/2019/07/lawsuit-profits-over-safety/

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