Two burned in Sacul biomass plant accident

Second victim leaving for Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX
Second victim leaving for Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Two construction workers are being treated for serious injuries following an accident at the biomass plant in Sacul.

According to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Kim Barton, two patients are in critical condition and they will be taken by ambulance to a burn unit.

Sheriff Thomas Kerss said the workers were working on a 444-volt electrical panel when it arced. An on-site safety crew did emergency treatment until an ambulance arrived.

Southern Power spokeswoman Stephanie Kirijan confirmed two Fagen construction workers were injured and all Fagen and Southern Power employees have been moved to a safe location. She said the plant will be closed for the rest of the day.

"We are aware of an incident that occurred at the Nac construction site this morning involving two Fagen employees who are now receiving medical care," said Evan Fagen, the company's president. "The incident is contained and poses no threat to the plant site. As proper protocol we have closed the site to facilitate an investigation which is now underway. The safety of our workers  and the surrounding community is of the upmost importance. Representatives from Fagen corporate are now on site."

Within three hours of their arrival the men were on their way to Parkland burn unit in Dallas. The weather was too threatening for a helicopter, so they were transported in two ambulances.

"Our ambulances are mobile intensive care units and they have everything you would need to take care of a patient in an intensive care situation on the road," Barton said.

Initially, there was talk of a plant explosion and a large fire. Kerss said neither occurred. People were only hearing and seeing what naturally occurs.

"Anybody that's ever been around electricity at all knows if you arc two currents there's going to be a loud pop and when that arc includes 440 volts of electricity it's going to be a very large electrical charge," Kerss said.

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