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Forensic investigation hopes to determine Petersburg explosion cause

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A water boiler explosion inside a medical waste facility in Petersburg is now the focus of a forensic investigation.

Ed Hilton, the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Director for Virginia, confirmed his office is investigating the March 31 explosion at Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services on Puddledock Road.

Three people were hurt in the blast.

He said the office is looking for any signs of operator error or equipment malfunction. He confirmed the internal certificate inspection for the water boiler, conducted in July 2016, was "satisfactory."

Jennifer Rose, Virginia's Occupational Safety Compliance Director at the Virginia at the Department of Labor and Industry, confirmed her office is also investigating the explosion. The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health program (VOSH) where Rose works is Virginia's version of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Rose said VOSH has up to six months to issue citations, if warranted.