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Published August 25, 2010, 02:08 PM

Bad planning cited in fatal Colo. power plant fire

DENVER (AP) — Federal investigators say Xcel Energy Inc. and its contractor failed to adequately plan for hazardous work before a fire at a Colorado hydroelectric plant killed five workers.

DENVER (AP) — Federal investigators say Xcel Energy Inc. and its contractor failed to adequately plan for hazardous work before a fire at a Colorado hydroelectric plant killed five workers.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released its final report on the October 2007 fire Wednesday.

The work included taking flammable solvents into a 4,300-foot tunnel at the plant.

Board members noted that Xcel ignored its contractor's safety rating and chose RPI Coatings Inc. primarily because it was the lowest bidder.

The board called for strengthening federal and state regulations to prevent similar workplace deaths.

The workers who died were all from California.

Officials at Minneapolis-based Xcel didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

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