Explosion victim in critical condition in Duluth hospitalThe worker injured in an apparent coal-dust explosion at Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor Energy Center in Schroeder remained in critical condition Tuesday at a Duluth hospital.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
The worker injured in an apparent coal-dust explosion at Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor Energy Center in Schroeder remained in critical condition Tuesday at a Duluth hospital.
A spokeswoman for Essentia Health Duluth, the former Miller-Dwan Medical Center, said Joe Fredrickson, 41, of Silver Bay was in critical condition. The blast was reported about 9:20 a.m. Monday in the plant’s coal storage area.
A Minnesota Power spokeswoman said a Minnesota state fire marshal was on the scene Tuesday trying to determine the cause of the flash explosion and ensuing small fires. The Schroeder fire chief said he thought the explosion was caused when coal dust ignited, but that the ignition source was not clear. Firefighters battled several small fires in the coal after the explosion.
Minnesota Power also was conducting an internal investigation of the accident, trying to determine what went wrong. It was unclear Tuesday if officials of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were at the scene. The accident, similar to a 2002 explosion at the site, has not affected the company’s ability to supply electricity to customers.