Gas Explosion Kills Va. Coffee Shop Owner

March 25, 2010

A fire official says fumes from an underground gasoline storage tank in Colonial Beach apparently ignited and caused an explosion that killed a man who was removing the tank.

Colonial Beach Fire Chief Jim Jett says Jeff Malecha died Tuesday at MCV Hospital in Richmond.

Malecha owned a coffee shop on the property. Jett says Malecha and another man were using a front-end loader and an excavator to remove two storage tanks buried at the former gas station.

Police Chief Chris Hawkins says the force of Tuesday's blast threw Malecha across a street. Some patrons were in the coffee shop at the time, but no other injuries were reported.

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