One person dead in Franklin power plant explosion

An explosion at the Oak Grove Power Plant in Franklin was reported Wednesday morning
An explosion at the Oak Grove Power Plant in Franklin was reported Wednesday morning(KBTX)
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 9:53 AM CDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 11:26 AM CDT
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FRANKLIN, Texas (KWTX) - Robertson County First Responders responded to an explosion Wednesday morning at the Luminant Oak Grove Power Plant in Franklin.

The incident occurred at 8 a.m. May 31 during the commissioning of a new auxiliary boiler, leading to the on-site team immediately calling 911 and implementing emergency response protocols.

According to the Robertson County Emergency Management, initial reports were of an explosion with multiple injuries.

“Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the families of those impacted by this unfortunate event, and we would like to thank the local first responders for their quick response and efforts to render aid,” said a spokesperson for the Oak Grove Power Plant.

Upon arrival, crews found that there was an explosion from a boiler and there was one contractor who was seriously injured and succumbed to their injuries.

KWTX found that this isn’t the first time the Oak Grove Power Plant has had a worker get hurt on the job. In February four contract workers were transported to a hospital after potential exposure to a hazardous chemical.

There were no other injuries and the incident is under control. Initial reports said that multiple people were injured from the incident, however, officials say they have since debunked those claims.

All other employees and contractors have been accounted for and there are no other known injuries at this time.

Robertson County resident Charles Freda said his wife called him early in the morning to tell him about the incident. At the time he didn’t know of any fatalities and immediately assumed the worst.

“I began to call some local people here, real estate clients I knew that worked at the power plant to try and find out what had happened and who was involved,” Freda said.

Other Robertson County residents like Maggie Cernovich and her grandma Kathy Harvell say their hearts go out to the victim’s family.

“I feel really saddened about the death of someone over there, but I hope that their family and friends can find some comfort,” Cernovich said.

The residents say this kind of work came sometimes be dangerous.

“In power plants like that there’s certainly a lot of things you have to be careful of, certainly when you’re working around there,” Freda said.

Now they are wondering what steps the power plant will take to avoid any future incidents.

“They definitely need to have procedures put in place for the safety of the workers,” Harvell said.

Oak Grove remains in operation and is generating electricity.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.