WIPP contractor suing employer after fire

Updated: 08/14/2014 8:29 PM | Created: 08/14/2014 8:28 PM
By: Blair Miller,

A contractor with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is suing over injuries he suffered in an underground fire, and the lawsuit is revealing more about what happened that day in February.

A salt hauling truck caught fire underground in February, and the lawsuit, filed by contractor William Utter, says efforts to put the fire out didn't work.

Officials gave an evacuation order over the plant's PA system, but not everyone working there heard it, according to the lawsuit.

The mine's ventilation system was also switched over to filtration mode to try and reduce smoke, but the lawsuit says that only spread the smoke to other areas.

Utter says he suffered from smoke inhalation, and is suing his employer, Nuclear Waste Partnership.

Days after the fire, WIPP had a radiation leak, and has been closed since.

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