Firefighters preliminarily determined that a mechanic’s error lead to an oil leak that ignited a fire and damaged a turbine at a major power plant.
The Gazette reported Friday that the mechanic went to change the wrong filter at one of three turbines at the downtown coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant. A Colorado Springs Fire Department duty report obtained by the paper documents that the shut-off valves had not been closed off and oil squirted onto hot steam pipes, igniting the May 5 fire. Colorado Springs Utilities spokesman Steve Berry said it was human error.
The newspaper did not identify the mechanic.
A city spokeswoman said the fire remains under investigation. The city-owned utility has hired an outside consultant to conduct an investigation.
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