Belle Plant Explosion Rocks Kanawha Valley And Two Hero Remembrances


On this West Virginia Morning, an explosion at the Chemours Belle Plant near Charleston occurred late Tuesday night and resulted in a shelter-in-place advisory for the area. We bring you the latest on this event. Also, in this show, we remember Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager who passed away Monday at the age of 97, and we remember 28-year-old Charleston police officer Cassie Johnson who died in the line of duty last week.

At least four people in the Kanawha Valley were injured following a Tuesday night explosion at the Chemours Belle Plant outside Charleston. The blast, which occurred just before 10 p.m., led local officials to instate a shelter-in-place in a two-mile radius in the area surrounding the plant. A stretch of U.S. Route 60 was also closed because of the incident. The shelter-in-place advisory has since been lifted. Chemours, a company that was spun off from DuPont in 2015, produces specialty and agricultural products at its operations in Belle. The cause of the incident is still being determined.

Charleston city leaders held a funeral for patrol officer Cassie Johnson on Tuesday. Johnson was shot on Garrison Avenue last week while responding to a parking incident. Johnson’s colleagues remembered her as a hero with a soft spot for pets and love for her hometown. Emily Allen has more.

Republican Congressman Alex Mooney of West Virginia is calling on GOP colleagues to support President Trump’s efforts to challenge the results of the November election. Dave Mistich reports.

Retired Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager died Monday at the age of 97. A West Virginia native and ace pilot who fought in World War II, Yeager was best known as being the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound. On Oct. 14, 1947, he took to the cockpit of a Bell X-1 aircraft and zoomed across the Mojave Desert, ultimately surpassing Mach 1 and traveling at speeds in excess of 700 miles per hour. In October 2009, Yeager sat down with Mike Youngren. Here’s an excerpt of that conversation, which aired at the time on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s public affairs program, Outlook.

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