DENVER (CN) – Xcel Energy’s massive safety violations allowed five workers to die in a chemical fire 1,500 feet underground, and four more to be injured, the families of two of the five dead men claim in Denver County Court.
The dead and injured workers were working for RPI Coating at the Xcel Energy Cabin Creek Hydro Generation Station above Georgetown, Colo. They were applying epoxy to a penstock, a massive water pipe, when the fire broke out on Oct. 2, 2007, the complaint states.
The only exit was reachable by a 15-degree incline for 1,500 feet, followed by a 55-degree incline for 1,500 feet, and then a 50-foot-tall vertical section, the complaint states. Xcel is accused of failing to provide handrails, failing to protect workers in a confined space, failing to develop and coordinate rescue procedures, failure to store chemicals properly, and other “serious allegations.”
Plaintiffs are represented by J. Keith Killian with Killian, Jensen & Davis.