(TotalConservative.com) – Three workers ended up hospitalized in Centertown, Kentucky after a power plant began to leak coal ash.
According to a Facebook post by the Ohio County Sheriff, the leak happened at one of the Big Rivers Electric DB Wilson Power Plant’s silos, causing low visibility in the surrounding area and traffic diversions on Kentucky State Route 85. Around 9 AM on Wednesday, Dec. 20, the three employees injured were in the process of unplugging the western silo containing fly ash, a byproduct produced from burning coal for power.
In a press release, Big Rivers Electric stated that as the workers unplugged the silo, “material began flowing out” of one of the inspection doors “near where the contractors” worked. The three workers affected were rushed to the hospital. The company added that the remaining “employees and contractors were accounted for and safe.”
At first, local law enforcement thought one of the towers was collapsing, but emergency responders and the fire department discovered the problem was a leak. Adam Wright, the Ohio County Sheriff, told reporters from WFIE-TV that “a valve inside one of these towers” was “stuck open” while three employees were inside working, leading to thick clouds of fly ash filling up 80% of the tower as it escaped.
The sheriff said that two of the three workers “were able to get out” while one of them ended up “trapped and buried inside” the byproduct. The two who escaped “went back in” to save the other, putting them “in some serious trouble.” The sheriff did not name the employees but confirmed they were brought to a nearby hospital after their rescue by the emergency response team. Their current condition is unknown.
Staff eventually shut off the valve and then isolated the affected area of the silo and they’re now in touch with state environmental protection officials to help with the cleanup.
In an official statement, the plant thanked the county emergency crews for responding quickly, rescuing the contractors, and evaluating “the area for safety risks.”
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