- Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 March 2010 19:39
- Published on Tuesday, 23 March 2010 19:39
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To the People of Colonial Beach: Please come join the town for a candle light vigil Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. near St. Mary's Episcopal Church to join with Julie and her family in this time of terrible sadness.
Jeff Malecha died from severe chest and head injuries after an explosion outside his coffee shop, according to Police Chief Christopher Hawkins.
Around 2 p.m. a call came in to emergency personnel in Colonial Beach that an explosion had occurred at the Espresso Station Coffee Shop on Washington Avenue in Colonial Beach.
Malecha and a friend were in the process of removing old gas tanks from the ground in front of the coffee shop. It was reported that the tanks had been drained earlier in the day, but when one of the huge tanks was cut away there was an explosion. Malecha was reportedly in the hole and was thrown roughly 90 feet across the street and into a field in the explosion.
Malecha was flown out on helicopter. He was reported to be unconscious when the rescue squad left the scene.
Oak Grove fire Department wagon 4 and Westmoreland County Volunteer Rescue squad also responded.
Hawkins reported to Mayor Fred Rummage that the state was responding and the scene would need to be secured for at least two more hours.
Photos taken on Saturday show the excavation work in progress. (click on image for larger view)
Photos taken Wednesday morning, March 24, show the underground storage tank and its proximity to the building
A second underground storage tank was removed on Wednesday afternoon. Apparently there are additional tanks in the ground. One can be seen in the dirt, above the water that has begun to fill the hole.