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Friday, August 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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2 critical after incinerator accident

Spokane’s Waste-to-Energy plant pumps in 2007. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane’s Waste-to-Energy plant pumps in 2007. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Two workers at the city’s Waste-to-Energy Plant were burned by steam Tuesday morning in what officials called “a serious accident” and are in critical condition.

Spokane firefighters arrived at the city’s trash incinerator shortly before 10 a.m. after a report of multiple victims being burned, Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said in a video posted to Twitter. Paramedics treated the two city workers at the scene, and they were taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Schaeffer said. The workers were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle later Tuesday, Schaeffer said.

“It’s a very tough situation,” Schaeffer said.

Ken Gimpel, the city’s assistant utilities division director, said the two victims are men and that the incident took place in one of the facility’s boilers. He said the scene was still “very active” at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The identities of the victims are being withheld by the city out of respect for their families, Mayor David Condon said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The workers were repairing a pinhole in a water pipe that’s heated by burning garbage to produce steam, officials said. It’s unclear what went wrong/Spokesman-Review. More here (subscription).

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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