Investigators Probe Deadly TECO Plant Blast

Photo: Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times

Federal workplace investigators are at Tampa Electric Company’s Apollo Beach power plant in the wake of Thursday’s deadly explosion.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s investigation of what happened and why could take up to six months. The probe will involve witness interviews, looking at physical evidence, and reviewing the company’s safety record.

Two workers were killed and four others critically injured in some kind of blast near a slag tank during routine maintenance.

The incident happened in Unit 2 of the four coal-fired electricity-producing units at the power plant. The six victims sustained burn and other injuries.

A slag tank contains water and is where burned coal falls, where it solidifies and is eventually recycled and used in sand blasting and roofing.