Colorado

Aug 23, 2010 3:32 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Xcel Energy slammed for response to Colorado deaths

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is criticizing Xcel Energy for its handling of the aftermath of a tunnel fire that killed five workers at a Colorado hydroelectric plant.

In a letter sent Monday to Xcel CEO Richard Kelly, the board cited a list of "troubling episodes" unique to the board's 13-year history. The board said the Minneapolis-based utility didn't cooperate in the investigation, forcing officials to turn to the U.S. Attorney's Office to compel the company to turn over information.

An Xcel spokesman said he couldn't immediately comment.

The safety board investigates accidents involving chemicals and makes recommendations. It plans to release its final report and recommendations on the 2007 fire on Wednesday.

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