Fatal Workplace Accident at Tampa Electric Company Power Plant
An electric plant at Apollo Beach was the site of a terrible accident several weeks ago that left two people dead and numerous others in critical condition. According to the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, firefighters were alerted to the incident on the afternoon of June 29th. The emergency call took the rescue teams to the Tampa Electric Company where employees had been in the process of cleaning a slag tank. According to a spokesperson for the Tampa Electric Company, the initial explosion took place inside of a coal-fired power generator. The slag tank is where the burnt coal is dumped after it gets consumed by the generator. It is not known whether or not the generator was supposed to be operating at the time of the explosion.
Corey Dierdorff, the spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, said that two individuals were airlifted from the scene of the accident to a nearby Tampa hospital. Dierdorff went on to say that two others were transported via ambulance to the same hospital. The hospital remained prepared to receive even more casualties throughout the day as the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue worked to secure the area and ensure that all individuals involved were safely evacuated.
Those taken to the hospital were covered in severe burns. The report further stated that the burns were not the only injuries inflicted upon the individuals, and that more intense injuries were also present among those admitted.
After the incident, the Tampa Electric Company turned off the unit throughout the rest of the afternoon, although there were two other units running continuously during this same time that were not shut off.
The report never went on to illuminate the general public as to what exactly took place at the power plant to cause the horrible accident. There is no indication of whether or not the proper safety protocols were being followed or if corners were being cut in order to make the work’s efforts more expedient and cost-
effective for the company. Regardless, more than four people’s lives have been irrevocably altered by an accident at work that, in all probability, was avoidable.