Electrical flash injured workers at nuclear plant

Ameren Missouri officials clamped down on information Wednesday about an accident Tuesday evening at the Callaway nuclear plant, located about 10 miles southeast of Fulton. But other sources have revealed a few more details about the incident.

A spokesman for Ameren Missouri said Wednesday three workers were injured in an accident involving an electrical flash that occurred at 5:06 p.m. Tuesday at the Callaway Energy Center.

Brian Daniels, an Ameren Missouri spokesman, said the incident occurred in the Callaway Energy Center switch yard.

Daniels stressed the incident did not involve the operation of the nuclear plant, which was not the location of the accident.

The incident was at the electrical switch yard where transformers are located, and electrical power from the plant is fed into power generation lines. The switch yard is a few hundred feet from the protected nuclear plant.

Ameren Missouri reported in a statement that three workers were injured and transported to local hospitals and the cause of the incident is still under investigation.

Michelle Kidwell, director of Callaway County Emergency Management, said Wednesday the Callaway County Emergency Operations Center was not activated after the incident at the nuclear plant.

Kidwell said the 911 call came in from the nuclear plant at 5:16 p.m. Tuesday, saying there were three burn victims, including two with burns to the face. She said a helicopter was dispatched to the nuclear plant along with two ambulances from the Callaway County Ambulance Service.

Jeff Wallendorff, chief of the South Callaway Fire Protection District, said one engine and about nine volunteer firefighters responded to a request to assist the helicopter.

The Associated Press reported Rita Holmes-Bobo, Ameren Missouri communications director, said the incident was “kind of like when a spark happens — you see that light flash. You don’t have to be touching anything, but if you’re in the proximity, you feel that heat. It was very hot.

“Everything is safe,” Holmes-Bobo said Wednesday. “What we’re concerned about now is getting to the root cause, and we’re concerned about the safety of the workers” who were injured.

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