Xcel on trial for 5 deaths at Georgetown

DENVER — A criminal trial in the deaths of five workers at a hydroelectric plant is set to begin in a rare prosecution of a company.

Xcel Energy and Public Service Company of Colorado face five counts of violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations in the October 2007 fire inside a water tunnel at the Cabin Creek hydroelectric plant near Georgetown. The workers were using flammable solvents inside the tunnel when it caught fire, trapping the workers inside.

No person is on trial that beings today. The Denver Post reports that if convicted, the companies face fines of up to $500,000 on each count and strict post-conviction supervision.

Xcel says it was an accident involving its subcontractor RPI Coatings Inc.

A separate criminal trial for two RPI executives is scheduled later.


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