Tampa Electric pleaded guilty to OSHA violations in the June 2017 Big Bend Power Station explosion that killed five workers.
The company submitted a plea agreement in federal court stating it was guilty of violating OSHA standards that resulted in the fatal incident.
OSHA fined Tampa Electric $500,000 for the violations and the plea agreement states the company will pay the fine and that it has cooperated with the agency throughout the investigation into the incident.
Court documents revealed that the company negotiated with the families of each worker who died in the incident and has privately settled with them in civil court.
“If the federal court accepts the plea agreement, the money paid out to the families will count as full restitution made by the company,” according to 10 Tampa Bay News.
Molten slag released during debris removal
The incident occurred June 29, 2017, when an accidental explosion occurred as five contractors and one Tampa Electric employee were trying to remove debris from one of the power station’s slag tanks.
A byproduct of the furnaces was molten slag, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Two people died on the scene while three others died later after being rushed to a local hospital.