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OSHA report not finished

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

A federal investigation into an April incident at the Tri-State Generation & Transmission power plant south of Craig likely won’t be finished for a few more weeks.

Herb Gibson, area director for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said his agency has not completed a final report on what might have happened April 18 that sent 19 workers to The Memorial Hospital with mysterious symptoms.

According to reports from Tri-State, the workers complained of nausea, coughing and burning eyes and were taken to the hospital in ambulances.

All of the workers involved were employed by various subcontractors hired by Tri-State to complete a $39 million environmental upgrade at the plant.

The incident occurred inside the plant’s third power unit, which was shut down during the upgrade project.

As part of the renovations, Tri-State planned to install new burners to limit oxides of nitrogen emissions, upgrade the plant’s smokestack scrubbers and complete a variety of maintenance tasks.

Workers returned to the site of the incident a few days after it happened. Tri-State did not provide them with respiratory equipment, but it did add extra ventilation to the area.

The company ended an internal investigation in April, after officials said they could not discover what caused the workers’ to go to the hospital.

Gibson has said previously that OSHA will not conclude its inquiry until it finds what caused the incident.

The agency finished an on-site investigation earlier this summer and has been working on its final report since at least early July.


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