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Tampa Electric Company


Underneath the furnaces at a coal-fired power plant were water-filled tanks designed to catch and cool the molten “slag” — a by-product that drips down from the furnace. On the day of the incident, hardened slag had accumulated at the top and bottom of the tank. Rather than shutting down the furnace, the company called in a contractor to perform high-pressure water blasting to try and clear the slag with the unit on-line. The work proceeded without observance of several safety-related procedures required by law. Five people were killed when one of the slag accumulations came loose, spraying the area with molten slag.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachelle DesVaux Bedke for the Middle District of Florida

Incident Type







June 29, 2017

Contact for Additional Information



First Last Age Title Employer Injury Type
Michael McCort 60 Unavailable Tampa Electric Company Fatality
Christopher Irvin 40 Unavailable Tampa Electric Company Fatality
Frank Lee Jones 55 Unavailable Tampa Electric Company Fatality
Antonio Navarrete 20 Unavailable Tampa Electric Company Fatality
Amando Perez 56 Unavailable Tampa Electric Company Fatality


Name Type Title Plea Information Conviction Sentence
Tampa Electric Company Entity Entity The company pled guilty to a charge of willfully violating an OSHA rule that resulted in the death of five workers, a federal misdemeanor. As part of the plea agreement, the company agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and a term of 3 years probation. The agreement also obligated the company to comply with a Safety Compliance Plan. Tampa Electric Co. also negotiated confidential civil settlements with each of the victims' families.
Penal Crimes Charged

Willful violation of OSHA standard resulting in the death of five workers. 29 U.S.C. § 666(e).

Other Crimes Charged