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Monitors check for radiation release after waste site blast

Posted: 12:45 PM, Nov 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-20 20:23:24Z

Air monitoring systems have been set up to check for low-level nuclear radiation -- and other harmful contaminants -- following a powerful Saturday morning blast at a hazardous waste site in Owyhee County that killed a worker, destroyed one building, and damaged others.

Albert Crawshaw of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality says the monitors were installed Tuesday at the US Ecology site about fifty miles south of Boise. Results were not yet available.

US Ecology takes in low-level radioactive waste, but Crawshaw says none of the material was believed to be near the explosion on Saturday.

The company also takes in contaminants such as arsenic, lead, zinc, cadmium and other metals.

Officials say it's not clear what caused the explosion.

Monte “Alex” Green, 48, of Grand View died as a result of injuries he sustained in the blast. Green had worked at the facility since 2014.

Crawshaw says an inspector is examining buildings damaged in the blast to determine if they're safe to enter.

(by Keith Ridler, Associated Press)