Accident Description

Accident: Xcel Energy Company Hydroelectric Tunnel Fire

Location: Location: Georgetown, CO

Accident Occurred On: 10/02/2007 | Final Report Released On: 08/25/2010

Accident Type: Confined Space / Asphyxiation

Investigation Status: The CSB's final report was released at a news conference on 8.25.2010 in Denver, CO.

On October 2, 2007, five people were killed and three others injured when a fire erupted 1,000 feet underground in a tunnel at Xcel Energy Company's hydroelectric power plant in Georgetown, Colorado, located approximately 45 miles west of Denver. The fatally injured workers were trapped deep underground during an operation to coat the inside of the tunnel with epoxy using highly flammable solvents. The tunnel is several thousand feet long and connects two reservoirs with electricity-generating turbines.