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Colorado Power Plant Fire Was Caused By Oil Leak

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 4:05pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- The Colorado Springs fire chief says investigators have traced a fire that shut down a major power plant to an oil leak.

At a news conference Wednesday, chief Chris Riley said the lubricating oil came into contact with a super-heated steam line, sparking a flash fire. The oil kept flowing, feeding the fire.

Riley says the cause of the leak remains unclear. The investigation continues.

One contractor was briefly hospitalized and more than 22,000 people lost electricity for about 30 minutes as a result of Monday's fire at the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant, which is nearly 90 years old. Colorado Springs Utilities officials say 62 employees working at the site on Monday were uninjured. No firefighters were hurt.

Drake had supplied about a third of Colorado Springs's power needs.

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