Philadelphia Water Department project the source of Roxborough explosion that injured 6 workers

An explosion at the site of the Flat Rock Dam project left six workers in critical condition. The project would reconnect the Manayunk Canal to the Schuylkill River.

An aerial view of firefighters hosing down the site of an explosion in Roxborough

(Courtesy of 6abc)

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating following an explosion at a construction site in Upper Roxborough that left six workers in critical condition on Wednesday.

The explosion took place at a Philadelphia Water Department project near Flat Rock Dam to restore the connection between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River.

No additional information on the condition of the workers at Performance Construction Company, which is part of the larger Quandel Enterprises, was provided. In a written statement, CEO Greg Quandel said the company is working closely with local authorities to determine the cause of the incident. Initial reports referred to a generator explosion in a metal storage trailer along the river.

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Philadelphia Fire Battalion Chief Derek Bowmer told WHYY News partner 6abc the location made it a difficult fire to fight.

“Our employees and their safety are priority one and a complete site investigation is being conducted,” wrote Quandel, “We will provide updates as appropriate on our six injured teammates but ask for privacy for those injured and their families.”

OSHA has up to six months to complete its investigation and does not discuss the specifics of ongoing investigations, said a U.S. Department of Labor spokesperson.

The Philadelphia Water Department’s Flat Rock Dam Betterment Project, funded with a $15 million dollar state-sponsored loan, aims to remove sediment and improve water quality.

The canal has been cut off from the river since the 1940s.

The water department declined to comment on the incident.

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