Colorado

Aug 25, 2010 3:55 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Xcel, subcontractor, blamed for worker deaths

Federal investigators say Xcel Energy and its contractor failed to adequately plan for hazardous work before a hydroelectric plant fire that killed five workers in Colorado.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released its final report on the October 2007 fire on Wednesday.

The work included taking flammable solvents into a 4,300-foot tunnel at the plant. Board members noted that Xcel ignored its contractor safety rating and chose RPI Coatings Inc. primarily because it was the lowest bidder.

The board called for strengthening federal and state regulations to prevent similar workplace deaths.

The workers who died were all from California.

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