Two people working near the Ray Nixon Power Plant near Fountain, CO, died after their truck hit a high-voltage power line and caught fire Thursday morning.
The contractors were taking soil samples at 9:20 a.m. when a boom connected to their rig hit an overhead power line carrying 12,500 volts of electricity, said Colorado Springs Utilities General Manager of Energy Supplies Aram Benyamin.
The truck burst into flames, which spread to the grass nearby. Smoke from the fire was visible from Interstate 25.
Firefighters said the two victims were found dead outside the truck. Initial evidence indicates they were electrocuted, but the coroner will determine the cause of death.
The victims were both men in their 20s. Their names were not immediately available.
Firefighters said a third person working in the area was not injured.
“On behalf of the City of Colorado Springs, I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the two subcontractors who perished in today’s accident near Ray Nixon Road,” said Colorado Springs Chief of Staff Jeff Greene. “We are especially saddened to learn that these were such young men, taken much too soon. We understand that a small grass fire resulted from the accident and we thank CSFD, CSPD and the Fountain Police and Fire Departments for their quick response in mitigating additional harm.”
“Safety is paramount whenever you are dealing with electricity, especially high voltage, the message to anyone whether you are playing with the receptacle at home or you are in the high voltage line of work electricity is dangerous,” said Capt. Brian Vaughan with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.
Though it’s still under investigation, crews hope to take this incident and improve safety for others.
“I’m sure people are going to learn, including fire personnel, and try to make something positive out of this unfortunate incident,” Vaughan said.