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Wednesday, October 9,2013

Explosion investigation

by Andy McGlashen

The head of a local union representing workers at Lansing Board of Water and Light power plants says he has serious concerns about two explosions on Aug. 25 at the Eckert Power Station.

Ron Byrnes, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 352, told City Pulse he voiced his concerns about the explosions at the Sept. 24 meeting of BWL’s commissioners.

Byrnes said he told the commissioners they were “being led to believe some things that may or may not be true.”

No one was injured in the two explosions, which were related to the same incident and happened almost simultaneously, Byrnes said. The union and BWL are working together on an investigation.

Byrnes also told commissioners “they need to take note of that investigation and be interested in the investigation,” he said. “Not only is it a major financial impact to the utility, it also put employees in jeopardy for their safety. The safety is paramount in my mind.”

He added that the financial impact he referred to was the result of damage to the plant.

BWL spokesman Stephen Serkaian declined to discuss the incident until the investigation is complete.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigates workplace incidents that cause death or serious injury, but is not investigating the incident at Eckert, spokeswoman Andrea Miller said in an email.

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