UPDATE: The Pueblo County Coroner released the identities of the two workers who died from the coal pile collapse.
28-year-old Kyle Bussey of Pueblo and 36-year-old Phillip Roberts of Canon City died of injuries from the accident. They were pronounced dead on scene, according to the Coroner’s Office.
Autopsies are scheduled. Their Next-of-Kin have been notified.
UPDATE: Both workers have died as a result of the coal pile collapse that trapped them both this morning at the Comanche power plant. Their identities will not be released until their families have been notified.
One worker was in their 20s, the other was in their 30s. Crews found the bodies just after 3 p.m. after hours of rescue operation.
Savage, the contracting company the two men worked for, has released an updated statement following the deaths:
“We are devastated that the deaths of two of our Team Members have been confirmed, resulting from an incident that occurred Thursday morning at the coal yard Savage operates and maintains for Xcel Energy at its Comanche power plant. This is tragic for the families, our team, our Customer, and the Pueblo community. We are working with local and federal officials and Xcel Energy to investigate the cause of the accident. We appreciate the emergency responders who aided in rescue and recovery efforts, as well as Xcel Energy for their support. Out [sic] hearts and prayers go out to the families who are grieving the loss of their loved ones, and we are working to provide support for the families and our Team Members at the site.”
UPDATE: According to the Pueblo Fire Department, the two workers were 25 feet up when the incline of the pile gave in from under them. This is still being considered a rescue operation. Rescuers are working through unstable coal and need to be very careful while digging through the surface area. Flight for Life is on standby. Rescue crews are optimistic that the workers can be recovered unharmed. Calls have been made for sonar equipment.
PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo Fire Department is responding to the Comanche Generating Station where, they say, two workers are trapped in a pile of coal – measured at about 80 feet.
According to Savage, a company that helps safely move and manage essential materials, on Thursday around 8:20 a.m. an incident happened at the coal handling operation managed by the company at Xcel Energy’s Comanche power plant in Pueblo resulting in two Savage team members being trapped in a coal pile.
Workers on scene activated rescue efforts immediately said a spokesperson from Savage but contact has not yet been made with either trapped team member.
Xcel Energy released the following statement:
Our thoughts are with the employees of Savage who were involved in an incident at the coal facilities at the Comanche plant today and their families. We are working with Savage and Pueblo County Sheriff’s Department to understand what happened. Savage has served as a long-term contractor partner that operates and maintains the coal yard at Comanche and our other coal plants. Savage manages all of the onsite operations; hiring, training and maintaining staff and equipment and coal operations at the Comanche plant coal yard. Any information regarding the incident and these two individuals should be directed to Savage.
A FOX21 News crew is en route to the scene. This article will be updated.