[UPDATE] Crews Recover Body of Worker Trapped in Fla. Energy Plant

By: Progress Energy Release, Associated Press
By: Progress Energy Release, Associated Press

[UPDATE] ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 14, 2011) – 7:21am

Rescue teams have found the body of a contract worker who was trapped Thursday night when the building in which he was working collapsed unexpectedly at the site of the Paul L. Bartow Power Plant on Weedon Island near St. Petersburg.

At approximately 11:45 p.m. on June 13, teams of rescuers recovered the body of Clark White, 65, of Moundsville, W.Va. White, a retired Army veteran, was an employee of Frontier Industrial Corp., a Buffalo, N.Y.-based company working on behalf of Progress Energy Florida to dismantle boiler structures no longer in use at the power plant site. White worked for the dismantling company for eight years.

“This was a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers continue for Clark and his family,” said Vincent Dolan, CEO and president of Progress Energy Florida. “We are especially grateful to the scores of rescue and recovery workers who worked long hours in very difficult conditions. Along with Frontier Industrial and appropriate state and federal agencies, we will be working to understand the cause of the accident.”

On Thursday evening, workers were preparing for a controlled collapse of a large boiler structure, scheduled for approximately 8:30 p.m. The structure collapsed at 7:15 p.m., with White inside. There were another 20 people – including Progress Energy Florida employees and contract company employees – working on the dismantlement at the time.

Dismantling work on the large boiler has been halted at the site. The structures were associated with the power plant’s oil-fired power generation. The company converted the site to cleaner-burning natural gas units in 2009.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- June 13, 2011 7:29am

A search continues for the body of a welder who was helping dismantle a Tampa Bay area power plant when it collapsed.

Officials say the search for 65-year-old Clark White switched to a recovery mission Sunday night. He was trapped when the Weedon Island boiler structure collapsed Thursday night. The search was scheduled to resume this morning.

White was part of a crew preparing the site for a controlled collapse.

His family says he warned the crew -- including his 31-year-old son Travis -- before the collapse occurred.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 10, 2011) – 10:30am -

The morning after a contract worker was trapped in an unexpected building collapse at the Progress Energy Florida’s Paul L. Bartow Power Plant, the company is continuing to provide rescue workers assistance in their efforts.

At approximately 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, a contract worker involved in the dismantlement of a building at Progress Energy Florida’s retired Paul L. Bartow Power Plant in St. Petersburg was trapped when the building he was working in collapsed unexpectedly. As of 10 a.m. Friday, the condition of the trapped employee was still unknown.

“We recognize that, in a situation like this, every minute matters,” said David Sorrick, vice president of power generation for Progress Energy Florida. “We’ve dedicated our resources to help the brave men and women involved in the rescue effort locate the trapped worker as quickly and as safely as possible.”

In addition to providing technical assistance in the rescue effort, the company is donating the use of heavy equipment to help remove debris from the site of Thursday’s building collapse.

The trapped contract worker, an employee of Buffalo, NY-based Frontier Industrial Corporation, was the only person in the building at the time of the collapse. A total of 21 Progress Energy employees and contractors were at the site when the accident occurred.

The group had been working to dismantle the plant’s retired Number 3 boiler.

At the time of the accident, the crew was preparing for a controlled collapse, which was scheduled to occur at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Progress Energy has been working with contractors to dismantle the Bartow steam plant following the 2009 construction of four on-site, gas/oil-fired combustion turbines and one steam turbine. Once the 1,200-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle plant came online, the use of the Bartow steam plant was no longer economically feasible.

_____________________________

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 10, 2011) –

At approximately 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, a contract worker involved in the dismantlement of a building at Progress Energy Florida’s retired Paul L. Bartow Power Plant in St. Petersburg was trapped when the building he was working in collapsed unexpectedly. As of 10:30 p.m., the condition of the worker was unknown.

The trapped contract worker, an employee of Buffalo, NY-based Frontier Industrial Corporation, was the only person in the building at the time of the collapse. A total of 21 Progress Energy employees and contractors were at the site when the accident occurred.

The group had been working to dismantle the plant’s retired Number 3 boiler by cutting eight of the 18, 14-inch H-beams that supported the boiler section. The boiler section was a 180-foot structure with a 10,000 square foot base, which accounted for approximately 25 percent of the overall plant structure. This was the first boiler dismantlement to be performed as part of the project.

At the time of the accident, the crew was preparing for a controlled collapse, which was scheduled to occur at around 8:30 p.m. this evening.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the gentleman trapped in this terrible accident and his family,” said David Sorrick, vice president of power generation for Progress Energy Florida. “At this time we are solely focused on assisting first responders in their rescue effort.”

Progress Energy has been working with contractors to dismantle the Bartow steam plant following the 2009 construction of four on-site, gas/oil-fired combustion turbines and one steam turbine. Once the 1,200-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle plant came online, the use of the Bartow steam plant was no longer economically feasible


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by dave Location: tampa on Jun 18, 2011 at 09:20 PM
    The companies first job in florida taking trafic control tower down on shown on thier web site was done without a license or permits. The company they had prior was bankrupted with the employies holding the bag for medical bills and 401k theft.They were known to fly into town with one or two employees then higher local unseasoned cutters no demo experience. The one who died was one of three people out of the crew with experience. Safety first, training not these guys.
    • reply
      by Tom on Jun 21, 2011 at 05:32 PM in reply to dave
      How do you know how many cutters had experience? Where are you getting your information from? I am in fact one of the ones that was there and do have experience, but there was not a more qualified man to do the job that Clark White was doing. If he didn't have safety on his mind as his number one priority there would be 10 people missing instead of one. And who cares is the company was from Buffalo, you are acting as if Florida outsourced from China or something. On top of everything, a man lost his life, my grandmother always taught me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all. Take a hint. Rest in peace Clark, I miss you everyday.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 14, 2011 at 04:16 PM
    I posted a reply to you earlier but I guess WCTV didn't approve on what I had to say to you. My only issue stands with you. Don't tell me I have issues when your the one that didn't understand the post. Next time you decide to reply to a post read it a couple of times and make sure you understand it before you go to making comments!
  • by I'm sorry on Jun 14, 2011 at 09:33 AM
    My thoughts and prayers go out to this man's family and his company, who have lost a friend and coworker. And to those who are showing thier ignorance on this post, you know nothing of construction, obviously. Despite being a very dangerous profession, most companies take every step possible to ensure safety of their workers. The company employed is probably a specialty company who has even more of a stringent safety process for this type of work. Whether or not someone is union or merit shop makes no difference in safety standards as applied. So please quit making people from Florida look like Neanderthals.
  • by ME Location: Tallahassee on Jun 14, 2011 at 05:53 AM
    Take this from someone who knows about power company's... My dad has been employed with a power company for over 30 years. 10 years ago he was in a substation when a freak accident occured and he almost lost his life. I know how this family feels, no I didn't lose my dad THANK GOD but it felt like I did. This is not the company's fault or anyone else's it was an accident, just like this one. Accidents happen and we can't always prevent them from happening. For the one's of you posting comments about something you have no knowledge about... STOP!!!!! It's not for you to question. It doesn't matter where he was from. When hurricanes come through here and your power is out for 3 or 4 days do you question a North carolina company on why they are getting your lights back on instead of your hometown company? NO! Your just happy you have lights again. These guys leave their families to come help you! So you see it really doesn't matter why he was here, the point is he lost his life and his family needs our prayers. Instead of questioning things, pray for the family of this man, they need it. This is a tragedy and my heart goes out to the family and they will be in my prayers.
    • reply
      by Steve Marietta, Ga. on Jun 14, 2011 at 10:35 AM in reply to ME
      You have many issues, and I am not a therapist so I have no-idea how to deal with you. I have been doing this 1983, building powerhouses. You equate an accident with your dad, and a hurricane with your lights! You have issues. I am a union member, and we are on-guard, every second of an hour! &#! can happen! Of what local, was this member a member? Be specific.
  • by Brutal Location: Capital City, Florida on Jun 13, 2011 at 09:06 AM
    The nature of your blog suggest that perhaps you are one of them. You have knowledge of the contract and the individuals. I hope that you are not rats, that you are union members? Are you rats? I have a real problem with importing rats, to do what a union brother or sister could do. Be specific. I would love to know if Progress Energy is hiring rats to do this demo' and getting people killed?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 14, 2011 at 05:39 AM in reply to Brutal
      I believe in unions. I hate rats.
    • reply
      by Tom on Jun 21, 2011 at 05:50 PM in reply to Brutal
      Nobody from Frontier is a rat....these posts are so off its ridiculous. If it was a union doing the work then one of your union brothers or sisters would have been the one that lost their life, you should be happy that no one you know was a part of this. It was a completely unpredictable accident, it would have happened to anybody that would have been doing the job.
  • by Lisa Location: Florida on Jun 11, 2011 at 09:44 AM
    Yes we do pray that all ends well but you should know the facts before making statements like the one you made because one of the workers is from Florida and the coworker and his family don't need remarks made by people that don't know what the are talking about I hope before you type something again you will think about how it would make you feel if it was you and not them and please keep this family in your thoughts
  • by 3minidoxies Location: Tallahassee on Jun 10, 2011 at 06:20 AM
    I sincerely hope the worker is not severely injured and will make a full recovery. THAT SAID, WHY IS A FLORIDA COMPANY CONTRACTING WITH A BUFFALO, NEW YORK COMPANY TO DO WORK IN FLORIDA? DON'T WE HAVE ANY FLORIDA COMPANIES CAPABLE OF DOING THE WORK AND KEEPING AT LEAST SOME OF THE MONEY INVOLVED IN FLORIDA? OR IS THIS PART OF THE GOVERNOR'S PROMISE TO CREATE JOBS?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 11, 2011 at 06:18 AM in reply to 3minidoxies
      we have jobs all over thats what we do demo
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 13, 2011 at 11:59 AM in reply to 3minidoxies
      Why don't you wait to hear the status of the search before you make comments about a job. Does it really matter where he was from if he lost his life?
      • reply
        by Tom on Jun 16, 2011 at 06:21 AM in reply to
        Anybody that has posted anything negative including the "why are we contracting out of New York question" should just shut their mouths. I was there on site, I spent the entire day with him and there was nothing that anybody else in the world could have done to prevent this tragedy. Clark was my friend and a great teacher, how dare you talk this way about someone that you know nothing about, he saved mine, and many other of my friends lives just by doing his job the right way....Clark White was a great man and will live on in my, and everyone else that knew hims hearts forever. Shame on anybody that has anything negative to say about him.
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 123609434 - wctv.tv/a?a=123609434
Gray Television, Inc.