October 5, 2007, 8 p.m. Eastern time - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced it is proceeding to investigate the causes of the chemical fire that killed five workers in an underground pipeline at the Xcel hydroelectric plant in Georgetown, Colorado, on Tuesday. Board Member William E. Wright, the CSB's interim executive, said: "The accident in Georgetown was a terrible human tragedy, and we extend our sympathies to all those families and others who were affected. The CSB is determined to understand why this accident occurred and to do everything possible to prevent it from recurring elsewhere."
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.
The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.
For more information, contact Director of Public Affairs Dr. Daniel Horowitz, 202-261-7613, cell 202-441-6074.