Employee of supplier transporting hydrogen killed in explosion at Muskingum River Plant

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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 8, 2007 - An explosion this morning at American Electric Power’s Muskingum River power plant killed an employee of a supplier delivering hydrogen to the plant. The identity of the victim, who worked for General Hydrogen, is not available at this time.

The cause of the 9:20 a.m. explosion is unknown and under investigation, but the plant boilers were not involved, and the explosion was outside the walls of the plant. The plant has five generating units. Four of the units are still operational. Unit 5 is offline pending the investigation of the explosion. The plant is located near Beverly, Ohio.

Nine AEP employees were transported to five local hospitals for evaluation and treatment of injuries. None of the injuries is life threatening.

"Our first concern is the condition of our employees. Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the family of the driver of the hydrogen truck. We will be conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of this explosion," said Dan Kohler, plant manger.

Muskingum River has five coal-fired units with a total generating capacity of 1,425 megawatts. The hydrogen is used to cool the generators.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas).
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Vikki Michalski
AEP Ohio
Corporate Communications
866-641-1151 or 614-883-7999