Possible Cause of Georgetown Tunnel Fire

By: KKCO Email
By: KKCO Email

Authorities believe the five workers trapped underground near Georgetown, CO probably died from smoke and fumes from the chemical fire.

The men, who range in age from 18 to 52, were all from California, working for a contractor hired by Xcel Energy.

Undersheriff, Stu Nay, said their bodies were found scattered along 200 feet of the pipeline, and didn't have any burn marks.

The fire erupted while they were coating the tunnel with a mixture of paint and epoxy. Nay said they were having problems spraying it the mixture, so they added a solvent to the mix. That’s when the hopper's heating element suddenly turned on, igniting the vapors.

Federal safety investigators continue to look into working conditions at the site, and into what kind of safety training the men had.
Residual toxic smoke is preventing crews and coroner's officials from recovering the bodies of five workers who died inside a 12-foot-wide pipe at a power plant near Georgetown.

Investigators are still trying to determine how the five workers
died, as the clear creek county coroner's office attempts to
identify them.

Survivors of the fire have all been treated and released from a Denver hospital.


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