Report says Xcel, contractor ignored worker safety

DENVER — A draft report on a tunnel fire that killed five workers at a Colorado hydroelectric plant accuses Xcel Energy and contractor RPI Coating of ignoring worker safety.

It says that a lack of planning for hazardous work and inadequate contractor selection were among problems that contributed to the accident.

The Denver Post reported on the draft today after obtaining a copy from Xcel Energy.

Xcel lost a legal battle to block the release of the report, which it believes is inaccurate. However it released the draft because it believes federal regulators planned to issue the final report closer to the criminal trial of Xcel and RPI in the case, possibly influencing jurors.

Regulators, however, say they plan to release the final version Aug. 25.


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