Burrillville neighborhood rattled Saturday by bang caused by power plant equipment failure

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BURRILLVILLE – A loud bang heard on Saturday, May 21 in the neighborhood surrounding the Ocean State Power plant was reportedly caused by the temporary shut down of a safety valve at the facility.

A piece of equipment at the 560-megawatt gas-fueled plant at 350 West Iron Road failed at some point before 5 p.m. according to reports, creating a force that causes a “big bang.”

A spokesman from LS Power, the company that owns OSP, attributed the noise to the automatic activation of a safety valve, noting that the incident temporarily shut down the facility. The safety feature automatically engages to prevent any additional damage to the plant’s other equipment, according to a statement from Steven Arabia to the Providence Journal.

Arabia said that it was not clear what piece of equipment failed and triggered the shutdown, and that one of the two plant turbines went back online at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, with the second to follow a few hours later.

The spokesman said that the safety systems operated as designed, and that there were no injuries, emissions or environmental impacts related to the incident. He noted that the plant has since passed safety checks with National Grid.

The incident follows the recent news that the town has signed a new five-year tax agreement with the plant, which has operated in Burrillville since 1990.

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