Worker injured in Minnesota power-plant explosion
25 October 2012
An employee of Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor Energy Center was injured on October 22 in an explosion at the coal-fired power plant. The injured worker was in the coal bunker room at the time of the explosion and is in a critical condition.
The explosion at Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor Energy Center is thought to have been caused by coal dust
Local firefighters battled the blaze and brought it under control, but were called back when another hotspot was found burning in the coal and in insulation in the ceiling.
Schroeder fire chief Phil Bonin said it appeared to have been a coal-dust explosion that caused several spot fires in the large building. He said it wasn’t clear what may have triggered the blast.
Amy Rutledge, spokeswoman for the Duluth-based utility, said the coal bunker facility, where coal is stored before it is burned in steam generators, was being filled with coal when the accident occurred. It’s not yet clear what caused the accident, she said.
One of the two generation units continues to operate and generate electricity, and the accident was not expected to affect customers, Rutledge said.
A similar explosion and fire occurred at the plant in August 2002.
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