* UPDATE : PRT to remain closed from Engineering to Beechurst Avenue all week, March 510. Check here for future updates.*

The body of a Morgantown Energy Associates (MEA) employee fatally trapped during the internal collapse of a coal silo last week (March 1) was recovered Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters pulled Ronald Edward Wolff Jr., 32, of Morgantown from the rubble. He had been reported missing since the early morning incident last Thursday trapped him under fallen coal and machinery.

Wolfe had worked as a fuel handler at the power station since it opened in 1992, and was performing his regular duties when the silo collapsed.

Engineers and experts are still evaluating the structure, and WVU ’s PRT operations continue to remain shut down from Engineering to the Beechurst Avenue. Buses will continue to run to and from these locations.

Following the accident, MEA and majority owner Dominion Energy switched to natural gas-fired auxiliary boilers to heat WVU facilities. There has been no disruption of service; however, should the plant need to go off-line, WVU has arranged for additional back-up boilers to provide the steam needed to hit WVU ’s buildings.

Those tie-ins are being made at Stansbury Hall for the Downtown Campus and at the HealthSciencesCenter for HSC and Evansdale facilities.  Testing of five auxiliary boilers will take place between 5 and 9 p.m. this evening (March 5).

Partial collapse of silo causes partial PRT closing

March 1, 2001

As a precautionary measure, WVU s PRT is not running between the Engineering and Beechurst Avenue stations this morning (March 1) because of an early-morning interior collapse of a coal storage silo at the Morgantown Energy Associates power plant on Beechurst Avenue.

The incident apparently occurred around 2 a.m. in a coal storage tower. One person is reported missing.

To accommodate students, WVU is running four buses continuously from the loop in front of the MineralResourcesBuilding to the Beechurst PRT station. There are no designated times; the buses are departing as soon as they are full.

The facility, completed in 1992, supplies steam to heat and cool WVU buildings; WVU does have heat at this time and will continue to operate.

According to Lee Comer, physical plant director, the power plant is generating steam with auxiliary gas-fired boilers. There should be no interruption in delivery of steam. However, a contingency plan is in place if heat is interrupted.