Body of Worker Recovered at Power Plant Structure Collapse

The body of a contract worker trapped when a large boiler structure at the Paul L. Bartow Power Plant on Weedon Island near St. Petersburg, Fla., unexpectedly collapsed was recovered late Monday night, four days after the accident occurred, Progress Energy said.

Workers were preparing for the controlled collapse of the structure, scheduled for about 8:30 p.m. on Thursday. The structure collapsed at about 7:15 p.m. on Thursday with Clark White, 65, of Moundsville, W.Va., still inside. Another 20 people—Progress Energy employees and contractors—were working on the dismantlement.

The 1958-built steam plant was being dismantled after the company built four onsite gas/oil-fired combustion turbines and a steam turbine in 2009. Once the 1,200-MW combined-cycle plant came online, use of the 452-MW Bartow steam plant was no longer economically feasible, Progress Energy said.

White, a retired Army veteran, was an employee of Frontier Industrial Corp., a Buffalo, N.Y.-based company working on behalf of Progress Energy Florida to dismantle boiler structures no longer in use at the power plant site. White worked for the dismantling company for eight years.

"This was a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers continue for Clark and his family," said Vincent Dolan, CEO and president of Progress Energy Florida. "We are especially grateful to the scores of rescue and recovery workers who worked long hours in very difficult conditions. Along with Frontier Industrial and appropriate state and federal agencies, we will be working to understand the cause of the accident."

Sources: POWERnews, Progress Energy

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