2 dead, 4 injured in accident at Tampa Electric power plant

APOLLO BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Two people are dead and four others suffered life-threatening injuries in an industrial incident at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend power plant on Thursday afternoon.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue took a 911 call just before 4:30 p.m. about a possible explosion at the power plant.

Two of the victims were taken to the hospital by helicopter. The other two were taken by ambulance.  Two people were reported dead inside the facility.

A TECO spokeswoman said the workers were performing routine maintenance on a slag tank, which houses coal waste after it’s burned.  Slag is a glass-like product that’s formed when coal mixes with water.

It’s believed there was an explosion and the workers were burned, possibly by the slag, authorities said.

All other employees and contractors are accounted for, according to TECO.

Right now, company leaders are working closely with authorities to investigate the accident.

The Big Bend power plant spans about 1,500 acres and is the largest of TECO’s three plants.  The incident happened in unit two.  There are four units at the plant, spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs told reporters.

The names of those involved haven’t been released.

News Channel 8 reached out to TECO Friday morning and they don’t have any updates on the case.  They may have more details available by Friday afternoon, Jacobs said.

A spokesman with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said the agency is investigating the deaths.  No information was immediately available about the exact causes.

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