Two BTU Workers Recovering, One Still Critical Following Power Plant Fire

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BRYAN - New information Wednesday night about the electrical fire at the Bryan Texas Utilities power plant, including the name of the worker who was badly burned.

The Atkins Power Plant was down for maintenance when the fire happened Tuesday.

The City of Bryan has not released the name of the worker who was critically burned in Tuesday's fire at a BTU power plant.

But News 3 has confirmed the worker is Earle Robinson. The Production Support Operator has worked for BTU for 13.5 years.

He was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

His two co-workers Maurice Carlson and James Yendrey have both been released from St. Joseph Hospital after suffering minor injuries in the fire.

"We really won't know what happened until an investigation is done," said David Werley, a Group Manager at BTU.

He tells us the electrical fire broke out in a combustion turbine building built in the early 1970's.

"The unit itself had been down for some maintenance. The crews were working to get it back online and what failed was basically where the electric connection makes into the unit that's where the issue happened," he said.

BTU says the damage will likely cost tens of thousands of dollars and the electrical arc was high voltage and hot enough to melt metal and glass.

The Bryan Fire Marshal's office is also investigating.

"Being that it's an accidental fire we want to makes sure you know that the safety procedures and those type of things are followed so we are very early on in the investigation and we need to look for what could have caused this event," said Marc McFeron, Bryan Fire Marshal.

"We just ask everybody to keep the injured employees in our thoughts and prayers," said Werley.

We're told repairs from the fire won't happen for several months until the investigation is complete.

At last check, Earle Robinson was listed in critical condition.

The Atkins Power Plant opened in the 1940's and is now only used as a backup power plant during peak energy times.

BTU officials say they are unaware of any other accidents like this one happening at the plant.


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