October 28, 2016

Explosion at Taconite Harbor Plant Sends Technician to the Hospital

By KBJR News 1

October 22, 2012 Updated Oct 22, 2012 at 6:40 PM CDT

Schroeder, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- An explosion at a North Shore Power plant sent one man to the hospital with extensive burns this morning.

Just after 9 a.m. Tofte and Schroeder Fire Departments responded to an explosion on the 7th floor of Taconite Harbor Energy Center Plant.

A worker from Silver Bay suffered extensive burns.

Joe Fredrickson, a 41-year-old fuels technician who has worked for the company since 2001 is being treated at the Miller Dwan Burn Center at Essentia Health in Duluth.

Emergency crews say two explosions actually occurred.

The room where the explosions occurred is used to transport coal via conveyer belts into the boilers.

After the crews extinguished the blaze, they were called back a second time to put out a fire that started in between the walls of the facility.

Crews remained on the scene for several hours working to put out hot spots.
The building was evacuated after the incident as a safety precaution.

I believe he is very lucky to be alive,” Chief Richardson Nelson of the Tofte Fire Department said. “What we believe, and we don't know for sure, but we think that the coal dust probably got ignited by some source, we have no idea what."

"Our priority is Joe himself as he is being treated for his injuries, to determining what caused today's accident so that we can take steps to make sure that we prevent it from happening again," Amy Rutledge of MN Power said.

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