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Slay wants Praxair moved, but still in City

Mayor Slay (L) speaks with Gov. Matt Blunt at the Praxair site on Saturday. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Mayor Francis Slay says he hopes officials will find a new location in St. Louis city for the Praxair distribution plant.

The facility caught fire on Friday, causing tanks of flammable industrial gases to explode and shoot into the air, causing damage in the Lafayette Square neighborhood nearby.

Slay says he agrees with neighborhood leaders that Praxair should reopen elsewhere. But despite the accident, he says the company has been a good corporate citizen.

"We would like to find them another location in the city of St. Louis, and we'll be working with the ownership to do that," Slay said Monday. "As far as being in the city, we certainly would like to keep them, but it has to be at a location that will not cause a threat to businesses or residents.

"They have been good corporate citizens in terms of the regulatory, in terms of the way they operate."

Slay says he's had a brief discussion about relocation with Praxair's owners.

Investigators determined that the fire started on a flatbed trailer, but they don't know what sparked it. Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board headed back to Washington Monday after looking over the site for a few days. Their report could take at least a year to finish.


Praxair has a full-page ad in Tuesday's Post-Dispatch, thanking police and fire fighters for their work. It also thanks Praxair's neighbors in the Lafayette Square neighborhood for their help and support.

The company is still open for business and taking orders, even though its building is closed.

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