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Power Plant Blast Injures Minnesota Worker

An explosion at a coal-burning power plant back in October injured a worker.

The explosion occurred at Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor Energy Center. The report from Minnesota power states that a call to emergency responders and firefighters was made at 9:20 a.m. to come to the facility that is located along Lake Superior’s North Shore. When they arrived, Joe Fredrickson, 41, was treated for injuries.

Fredrickson is an 11-year employee of the facility and he was in the coal bunker room where coal is transported on conveyor belts to boilers when the explosion occurred and he did sustain severe burns.

Firefighters from both the Schroeder and Tofte Volunteer Fire Departments fought the blaze. They got it under control and put out. They also stayed on site to ensure that all hotspots were extinguished, but a hotspot had started burning later in the day after they left. The hotspot was found in the insulation in the ceiling and in the coal. The fire chief said that the explosion appeared to be related to coal dust being ignited by an unknown source and that caused a number of spot fires within the building.

It was later determined by emergency crews that there were two explosions, but the cause of either one is still a mystery.

Fredrickson was taken to a Cook County hospital and was later transferred to St. Mary’s in Duluth. Minnesota Power says that he was communicative at the time he was transported. His injuries were determined to be critical, so he was listed in critical condition when he arrived at St. Mary’s.

A spokeswoman for the plant said that the coal bunker facility was in the process of being filled when the explosion occurred. Fredrickson was the only employee in the area and it is not certain how the blast happened. The cause is being investigated to ensure that the accident does not happen again.

If you are the vicitm of a serious burn injury due to a workplace incident, contact a Minneapolis personal injury lawyer from TSR Injury Law today for a free consultation.

Free initial consultation. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME.

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