If you experienced an injury while working on a job site or if you are the surviving loved one of a person killed during an accident on the job site, you are likely owed monetary compensation, which could include payment for lost income and other support from the injured or deceased person or to cover ongoing medical or funeral expenses. Floridas 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in November that the utility company was shielded by the workers comp statute. TECO officials said they had done similar work hundreds of times with the boiler online, including six maintenance jobs on slag tanks this year, but the CEO confirmed to the Times that no worker would be asked to clean out a slag tank with the boiler running until the company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had finished their investigations. Gansner was unable to return to work, one lawsuit said. Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station anchors TECO's award-winning Manatee Viewing Center, at 6990 Dickman Road, in Apollo Beach. Five people were killed when one of the slag accumulations came loose, spraying the area with molten slag. The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute those who fail to follow these critical safety rules. 296,357,005 stock photos, 360 panoramic images, vectors and videos, Share Alamy images with your team and customers. Harnett County families say sinking and overgrown graves are some of the conditions spotted at a Dunn cemetery. Our office is proud to have partnered with DOJ's Environmental Crimes Section to shine a light on this willful violation of OSHA safety standards in order to deter such conduct and ensure that workers are protected in the future.

Gary Marine Jr., one of the contractors, was the only one who survived. A Florida power company has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for a 2017 explosion that left five workers dead. Nancy Tower, 58, succeeded Gordon Gillette, 57, at the end of 2017, about six months after the Big Bend accident.

Updated: 2018-07-01 18:07:53, By Malena Carollo, Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer, Tampa Bay Times. 9th Feb, 2021. In a plea agreement with the government, TECO admitted to willfully failing to hold a pre-job briefing with the workers performing the work. The accident was the first of two incidents at a TECO facility that year. The power plant, owned by Tampa Electric services the west Central Florida region. Bio Jobs: Find a job that changes lives, even yours. The information provided will be included in your download confirmation, Search for stock images, vectors and videos, Tampa Electric Companys coal fired BIg Bend Power Station on Tampa Bay in Hillsborough County near Apollo Beach Florida, aerial photograph Big Bend Power Station Tampa, Florida, Tampa Electric's coal-fired Big Bend Power Station on Tampa Bay in Apollo Beach Florida United States, Tall chimney of a coal-fired power plant (Big Bend Power Station,Tampa, Florida, USA), Tampa Electric Big Bend Power Station Home Of The Florida Manatee Viewing Center Near Tampa Bay Florida. tampa engineers mec expert irvin deceased christopher age Underneath the furnaces were water-filled tanks designed to catch and cool the molten "slag" byproduct that drips down from the furnace. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. (Credit Image: Monica Herndon/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Wire), Dec 29, 2010 - Apollo Beach, Florida, U.S. - CLAUDETTE MAZGELIS of Bradenton bundles up from the cold as she watches manatees with her husband JOHN (wearing hat) from the deck of the Manatee Viewing Center at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. Big Bend Power Station Accident: 2 Dead, 4 Injured. APOLLO BEACH -- One year ago today, a maintenance procedure at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station went horribly wrong, killing five men. On June 29, molten coal slag spilled onto six workers as they tried to clear a blockage in a tank during routine maintenance at the Tampa Electric Co (TECO) Big Bend power plant at Apollo Beach, south of Tampa.

Required fields are marked *. An outflow of warm water from the power plant attracts the manatees in winter. Before they could make any repairs, they were hit by a column of water two feet in diameter that left Gansner with "permanent total disability" and Carter with a compression fracture in his spine, according to lawsuits the men filed against Tampa Electric. A Tampa Bay Times investigation of the incident revealed that Tampa Electric knew the dangers of the procedure and still went ahead. But after rehearing the case last fall, the appeals court found that TECOs obligation to maintain its Big Bend Power Station was required by regulation and, thus, the company may be considered a statutory employer, immune from high-dollar lawsuits and bound only by the exclusive remedy of workers comp. Wednesday morning saw temperatures below freezing, Power pole line on a bend of an unsealed gravel road, tussock country, Ngamatea Station, Inland Mokai Patea, Central North Island, New Zealand, Manatee viewing center, Big Bend Power Station, Tampa Electric, Apollo beach, Florida, Usa. ", "This investigation demonstrates the FBI's unyielding commitment to the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the U.S. Constitution," said Special Agent in Charge David Walker of the FBI Tampa Field Office. Carter fractured his spine. Another contract employee was killed in an incident at a TECO power station early in 2021. They also interviewed TECO CEO Gordon Gillette, who acknowledged the procedures risk and said a major safety review was underway to see if the procedure should be changed. On June 29, 2017, hardened slag had accumulated at the top and the bottom of the slag tank and could not be removed. (Credit Image: Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire), Apollo Beach, United States. The gas reached an igniting source and exploded.

Harnett County families say sinking and overgrown graves are some of the conditions spotted at a Dunn cemetery. Contract worker Antonio Navarrete, 21, of Wimauma died from his injuries during an accident at TECO's Big Bend Power Plant on June 29. Aerial photo of heavy industrial seawater desalination power plant Tampa Bay Apollo Beach Big Bend Florida, TECO Power Big Bend Power Station in Florida with scrubbers making 1900 Megawatts from Tampa Bay for electricity Pollution Global Warming carbon, A Sign At Tampa Electric Big Bend Power Station At The Electric Vehicle Charging Station. They can help you discover how much money you deserve and how to go about filing the claims correctly. Copyright 2018 Tampa Bay Times. (813) 223-6773 (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa USA/Alamy Live News, Power poles lines on bend of an unsealed gravel road, tussock country, Ngamatea Station, Inland Mokai Patea, Central North Island, New Zealand, West Indian manatee, Florida manatee, Caribbean manatee, Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus), many manatees lying in the warm water of the power station, USA, Florida, Tampa Bay, Big Bend Manatee Viewing Center, APOLLO BEACH, Florida, USA. 1st Nov, 2021. "We've done some safety audits and the results have been good.". In January 2021, Tampa Electric announced plans to double the number of homes it powers by solar energy by adding four solar projects by the end of 2021 that will produce enough energy to power 200,000 Florida homes.

Travel Agency - Cape Coral, FL - M and D Travel-Dream Vacations, Dream Vacation Sale!! Even with that ruling, the insurance company pushed back, refusing to pay the ordered restitution on the grounds that the company itself breached the insurance contract. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI, Apollo Beach, United States. Go to the Tampa Bay Times website for more information. The agreement also notes that the company previously reached confidential civil settlements with the families of the victims and others injured by the explosion. Safety leadership positions were created following the accident. Copyright 22/07/2022 Alamy Ltd. All rights reserved. Tampa Electric Co. has pleaded guilty to violating an Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard, causing death, according to a plea agreement filed Friday in Tampa federal court. Florida (877) 296-3668, REPRESENTING THE INJURED IN CENTRAL FLORIDA. Manatees flock to the warm waters of power stat, Mar 07, 2011 - Apollo Beach, Florida, USA - Emissions rise from the stacks of the coal-fired power-generating units of the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach, Florida. Follow @malenacarollo. PRIVACY POLICY|DISCLAIMER. All rights reserved. "Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the victims' families along with our promise to work with our federal partners in ensuring the safety of America's workplaces.". You face a potentially long road, so give yourself the best possible start by meeting with lawyers that have experience with personal injury claims stemming from workplace accidents or disasters. "Our hearts go out to the victims' families as well as other TECO employees and contractors impacted by this catastrophic event. Three people remain in the hospital following the accident. Thank you! 1st Nov, 2021. For more information or to schedule a free consultation contact Fiol Law Group today. In January 2021, Tampa Electric announced plans to double the number of homes it powers by solar energy by adding four solar projects by the end of 2021 that will produce enough energy to power 200,000 Florida homes. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI, Apollo Beach, United States. (Credit Image: Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire). Manatee viewing center, Big Bend Power Station, Tampa Electric, Apollo beach, Florida, Usa. Two men -- Christopher Irvin, 40, of Tampa, and senior plant manager Michael McCort, 60 -- died at the scene. Photovoltaic installation at the TECO Tampa Electric Big Bend Power Station located in Apollo Beach, Florida, USA. Aaron Thomas shares a family's concerns about overgrown and sinking graves at a Harnett County cemetery. All rights reserved. Big Bend Power Station, Tampa Electric, Apollo beach Florida. It quotes a station manager at Nebraska Public Power Districts Sheldon Station saying that working at the bottom of a slag tank with the boiler online has not been allowed in the 30 years he has been at the plant, and this was confirmed by three other managers at different US power stations. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. 9th Feb, 2021. The accident occurred while the workers attempted to clear molten slag from a clogged tank. Credit: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy Live News, The Big Bend Power Station coal-fired power plant is seen in Apollo Beach, Florida on January 7, 2017. 09th Feb, 2021. All of us at Tampa Electric hold the families of our late colleagues and coworkers in our hearts, TECO president and CEO Archie Collins said in a statement. ", See related story: Big Bend Power Station Accident: 2 Dead, 4 Injured, "Had TECO complied with OSHA's workplace safety standards, conducted a pre-job briefing and followed its own procedure, these senseless deaths could have been prevented," said U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. The legal battle continues today. The slag erupted from the tank, killing and injuring the crew. Credit: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy Live News, Steam rises from a smoke stack at the Big Bend Power Station coal-fired power plant in Apollo Beach, Florida on January 7, 2017. As a result, certain critical safety-related steps were not taken, including lowering the amount of coal entering the furnace and shutting the unit down after a specified interval had lapsed. Photo: Visitors to the Tampa Electric Companys manatee viewing site in Apollo Beach. (Credit Image: Monica Herndon/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Wire), Power poles lines on an unsealed gravel road, tussock country, Ngamatea Station, Inland Mokai Patea, Central North Island, New Zealand. As an example, the Kleen Energy Plant in Middletown, Connecticut experienced an explosion in 2010 wherein six workers perished and approximately 60 more were injured while performing debris cleaning duties for natural gas pipes. Chunks of it fall into cooling tanks and the remnants, which are black and glasslike, are recycled and used in sandblasting and roofing.

She also appointed a new plant manager at Big Bend. Federal law makes it a class B misdemeanor to willfully fail to follow an OSHA safety standard where the failure causes the death of an employee. % of people found this article valuable. The investigation unearthed the fact that after a similar incident at another TECO plant in 1997 when four workers were seriously injured, clearing blockages in the slag tank with the boiler above still in operation was banned at Big Bend, but was allowed again despite union objections sometime after 2007.The Times speculates that one reason for this might be the expense of shutting down and restarting the boiler, estimated at up to $250,000 a time. NEW precision moisture sensors for hazardous environments. Such a briefing should have included the procedures for the water blasting work. Your efforts in bringing a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the company could reveal other negligent practices that threaten other workers still employed at the site.

Billowing smokestacks are seen at Tampa Electric Big Bend power station, a facility comprised of four coal-fired units, two of which are scheduled to be retired by 2023 and replaced by natural gas units. Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. Billowing smokestacks are seen at Tampa Electric Big Bend power station, a facility comprised of four coal-fired units, two of which are scheduled to be retired by 2023 and replaced by natural gas units. TECO Energy Big Bend power station Florida America USA, Apollo Beach, United States. The FBI and the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General investigated the case. If you previously used a social network to login to WRAL.com, click the Forgot your password link to reset your password. Contact this reporter at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Workers had been performing maintenance on a slag tank when the substance unexpectedly poured out, officials said. The two were about to perform work on an access door on one of the condenser units at the plant when the door blew open, slamming the workers with a massive column of water, the court explained. According to Tower, the memorial and a picnic pavilion will be built close to Big Bend. In January 2021, Tampa Electric announced plans to double the number of homes it powers by solar energy by adding four solar projects by the end of 2021 that will produce enough energy to power 200,000 Florida homes. Example video title will go here for this video. At the time, the Big Bend facility consisted of four large coal-fired furnaces. Tampa Areas Top-Rated Home Professionals Are Here To Shorten Your To-Do List, Cross Bay Ferry Agreement With St. Pete Approved By County Commission.

(Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa USA/Alamy Live News, Manatee viewing center - Big Bend Power Station Florida USA Tampa Electric, Apollo Beach, Florida, USA. OSHA conducted an investigation and gave the utility a "serious" violation, as well as a $76,050 fine. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. A billowing smokestack is seen at Tampa Electric Big Bend power station, a facility comprised of four coal-fired units, two of which are scheduled to be retired by 2023 and replaced by natural gas units. Last June, five contract workers were performing maintenance on Unit 2, a coal-fired boiler at Big Bend, when it erupted and spewed a magma-like substance called slag. Learn more about how you can collaborate with us. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. A third worker died Wednesday from the injuries he sustained during last weeks industrial accident at the Tampa Electric Co.s Big Bend Power Plant. Rather than shutting down the furnace, TECO called in a contractor to perform high-pressure water blasting to try and clear the slag with the unit online. February 12, 2017 - Tampa, Florida, U.S. - MONICA HERNDON | Times.Visitors watch manatees swim in the discharge channel at the Big Bend Power Station on Sunday February 12, 2017, in Apollo Beach. One on One and / or Parties! Hot slag is a molten byproduct created when coal is burned for electricity. This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Some people are waiting days for repairs, Explained: Extreme heat's impact on your body, Leadership starts at the top for UNC after disappointing 2021 season, Giglio: Logic says take Clemson, NC State will defy logic, ACC looks for national regulation on NIL as players seek more opportunities, VinFast's factory in Vietnam a sneak peek at what's coming to Chatham County, Tips for navigating an economic recession, Major businesses close doors, causing concern for Rocky Mount community, Editorial: Candidates, tell voters clearly and fully, where you stand on abortion. In January 2021, Tampa Electric announced plans to double the number of homes it powers by solar energy by adding four solar projects by the end of 2021 that will produce enough energy to power 200,000 Florida homes. To request removal of your name from an arrest report, submit these required items to arrestreports@patch.com. Donald Gansner and James Carter were working for Zachary Industrial when they were sent to repair a leak. 09th Feb, 2021. Workers' Compensation. We have accepted full responsibility, and we hold ourselves accountable as we continuously work to improve our safety programs and safety culture.. This includes another explosion twenty years ago that left several workers injured or burned and two other incidents in 1999 and 2014 that left multiple employees dead because of similar incidents. TECO Power Big Bend Power Station in Florida with scurbbers making 1900 Megawatts from 4 plants on Tampa Bay, Big Bend Power Station, Tampa Electric Company, TECO, Apollo Beach, Florida, USA. Tower's plan includes updating safety procedures, implementing a safety management program for contracted workers, safety training, an audited comprehensive safety system and greater presence of company leadership. Smoke and steam emission at the TECO Tampa Electric Big Bend Power Station located in Apollo Beach, Florida, USA. The Tampa personal injury lawyers at Fiol Law Group can help you understand just how such a company violated your rights or the rights of your deceased family. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page. 09th Feb, 2021. Union officials claim this was to save money and, by bringing in outside help unfamiliar with the equipment and location, subjected their employees to increased risks at the plant. 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Victims and surviving family members should seek legal help as they go forward filing personal injury claims. Antonio Navarrete, 21, of Wimauma was initially injured while attempting to unplug a tank containing lavalike slag with six other men on June 29, according to our partners at the Tampa Bay Times. Instead, the work proceeded even though the procedures could not be found. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. In February, she spoke with the Times about the broad strokes of her five-year safety plan for the company. Antonio Navarrete, 21, Frank Lee Jones, 55, and Armando J. Perez, 56, died in the following weeks. All rights reserved. The potentially complicated fight can take many years to resolve, so having the best team possible can help accelerate that. Thank you! Just four months after the incident that killed five workers, two more contractors were injured at the plant. New museum could give you a glimpse. Aaron Thomas shares a family's concerns about overgrown and sinking graves at a Harnett County cemetery. Tampa Electric is planning on building a memorial for the workers in Apollo Beach. The men received workers compensation benefits through Zachry Industrial, but they and their families also filed a negligence lawsuit against TECO, charging it had caused the mishap at the power station. Donald Gansner and James Carter, who worked for contractor Zachry Industrial Inc. at the time, arrived at the facility to fix a water leak in the Unit 3 boiler's cooling system. Please tell us what we can do to improve this article. On WRAL News at 10 on FOX 50, Aaron Thomas shares why families say the problems seem to be getting worse, despite new leadership stepping in. TAMPA, FL Tampa Electric Co. has pleaded guilty in federal court in the Middle District of Florida to a charge of willfully violating an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule that resulted in an explosion at the Big Bend coal-fired power plant in 2017 that caused the deaths of five workers. It was one of two accidents at one of its power plants that year that seriously injured workers. 2022 Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. 2021 WRAL Voters' Choice Awards Go-To Guide, Cyber security: Protecting your digital life, Why So Many of Us Dont Lose Weight When We Exercise. One TECO employee and four contractors died following the blast. The court had initially held that TECO was liable. The agreement outlines safety procedures that TECO must follow in the future. Click to See All CONTESTS available from WRAL.com, Buffalo Brothers - $2.50 Storm Brew pints all day, every day. The utility is also conducting a cultural assessment of its employees in coming months to understand their perceptions about safety. In an investigation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration gave Tampa Electric a "willful" violation, a designation reserved for when companies act with indifference for the safety of their employees or knowingly disregard their rules. Credit: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News, Teco Big Bend Station - coal-fired power plant, Tampa Bay, Florida, Expansion u-bend of gasoline pipelines of big and small diameters is on interconnecting piperack, Aerial photo of heavy industrial seawater desalination power plant Tampa Bay, Apollo Beach, Big Bend, Florida, February 12, 2017 - Tampa, Florida, U.S. - MONICA HERNDON | Times.Manatees swim in the discharge channel at the Big Bend Power Station on Sunday February 12, 2017, and are seen from the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. Despite this, many other US coal-fired plants of similar design are shut down when there are blockages to be cleared or maintenance work is carried out below. Guests forced to leave Quality Inn hotel after city of Raleigh deems it unsafe. What will life be like in 2071? (Credit Image: Phelan Ebenhack/ZUMAPRESS.co, APOLLO BEACH, Florida, USA. 2022 IML Group PLC. On WRAL News at 10 on FOX 50, Aaron Thomas shares why families say the problems seem to be getting worse, despite new leadership stepping in. Please complete the form below. After daughter's death, New Port Richey mom questions how quickly dealers are being arrested, Army veteran receives new roof installed by Southeastern Roofing & Construction, 10 Weather: More heat, late-day downpours again Friday, 10 Weather: Late afternoon downpours push towards the coast Friday, unplug a tank containing lavalike slag with six other men, Go to the Tampa Bay Times website for more information. 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The inspection has not be resolved yet. Federal investigators found Tampa Electric ignored its own rules and fined the utility $126,749. In January 2021, Tampa Electric announced plans to double the number of homes it powers by solar energy by adding four solar projects by the end of 2021 that will produce enough energy to power 200,000 Florida homes. Alamy and its logo are trademarks of Alamy Ltd. and are registered in certain countries. Billowing smokestacks are seen at Tampa Electric Big Bend power station, a facility comprised of four coal-fired units, two of which are scheduled to be retired by 2023 and replaced by natural gas units. Your email address will not be published. The explosion occurred at TECOs Apollo Beach power plant, located just off Tampa Bay, in June 2017. In October 2017, two contract employees were seriously injured at TECOs Big Bend Power Station south of Tampa. tagged by 'Shark Week' fisherman, $5K reward for suspect in shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker, Early bird tickets go on sale for Hopscotch Music Festival, 'Encanto: The Sing-Along Film Concert Tour' to make stop in Raleigh, The fall of the prominent Murdaugh family: A timeline of deaths, alleged embezzlement and an insurance scam, Nominations for the 2022 WRAL Voters' Choice Awards start in September. Tarot Card Readings and Intuitive Consultations with Nicole! Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts. "I feel we're making progress," she said in an interview with the Times. A billowing smokestack is seen at Tampa Electric Big Bend power station, a facility comprised of four coal-fired units, two of which are scheduled to be retired by 2023 and replaced by natural gas units. Prior to the accident, the plant faced an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) because of several other incidents. Click here to read the Tampa Bay Times report, Former Fukushima executives ordered to pay 80 billion in fines, Explosion and fire at US manufacturing facility injures six, Flange guards their use and applicability in managing hazardous area zoning, UK government opens 75 million fund to accelerate nuclear fuel supply. In a major investigation, the Tampa Bay Times has looked into operational practices at the Big Bend power plant in Florida and concludes that the incident that resulted in the deaths of five contractors in June is particularly dangerous and may have been carried out in a bid to save TECO money. To understand the accident, Times reporters interviewed 14 current and former TECO employees, examined the companys safety manual, reviewed textbooks on power plant operations and analysed hundreds of pages of records filed with the state Public Service Commission and the US Energy Information Administration.