A fire and explosion at a titanium and zirconium processing facility in the northern panhandle of West Virginia Thursday afternoon has claimed the lives of two workers.

According to a press release issued by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the tragedy occurred at the AL Solutions, Inc. in New Cumberland.

A four-person CSB investigative team be led by Investigator- in-Charge Robert Hall, P.E. arrived at the site Friday morning. The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.