Two workers injured at Spokane, Washington, WTE plant

Workers reportedly burned while repairing hole in pipe during routine maintenance.

October 5, 2016
Waste Today Staff
Two workers were hospitalized for burns sustained during routine maintenance at the city of Spokane, Washington’s Waste-to-Energy Facility, on Oct. 4, 2016.

The incident was characterized as a serious accident and both workers were taken to first to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and later airlifted to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. Both are listed in in critical condition.

According a Spokesman-Review article, Spokane firefighters and paramedics responded to the scene about 10 a.m. after employees witnessed the incident from a monitoring room above the incinerator, the injured workers were reportedly inside a boiler repairing a small hole in one of the metal pipes that carry superheated water through the facility.

A piece of molten-hot remnants vaporized with water caused the burns according to fire officials.

The report also indicated the boiler had been shut off sine the previous day and both workers had a combined 23 years of experience at the plant and were familiar with its safety practices.

Emergency protocals were taken immediately following the incident. The city has operated the facility since November 2014. It opened in 1991 and had been previously operated by Wheelabrator, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.