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Progress Energy employee killed in explosion at Wilmington plant

Posted March 15, 2011

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— A small explosion at the L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant in Wilmington killed one person Tuesday.

Cory Rogers, 24, was doing maintenance on one of the plants three coal-fired steam units when the incident happened, according to Progress Energy, owner of the plant.

Rogers was working on a unit that was off-line for repairs. In a call to 911, an employee described "a hydrogen explosion in the generator" and asked for an ambulance. "We've got a man down," the caller said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family right now,” said Charlie Gates, a Progress vice president, in a statement. “We also have lost a member of our Progress Energy family due to this tragic event. This is a difficult time for all of us.”

There were no reports of power outages and no other injuries. The company said local, state and federal officials were helping with the investigation into what caused the explosion.

The Sutton plant, located off U.S. Highway 412 north of Wilmington, is one of four coal-fired power plants slated by Progress for retirement over the next few years as the utility converts to cheaper, cleaner gas power.


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  • paradiselost Mar 16, 2011

    I saw the breaking news header yesterday after this happened yet there was no follow up on WRAL news during all three segments. I guess the departure of NCSU's basketball coach was more important. Also, I see no need for the sophomoric comments posted concerning this news item. Especially since a life was lost. I expect until the 'jokers' on here experience a painful personal loss, only then will they understand the meaning of empathy

  • FromClayton Mar 16, 2011

    deathrow needs a scarcasm font. did you folks really think he was serious? Why you gotta jump on him like that? lighten up.

  • mom2threecld Mar 15, 2011

    prayers to the family and there are some disrepectful people posting about this young mans tragic death

  • fayelcox Mar 15, 2011

    My thoughts and prayers go out for his family and friends. May God comfort each of you,and give you the strength to go on. Just know you will be with your loved one soon.

  • TheAdmiral Mar 15, 2011

    To quote one of the great disaster movies of all times: AIRPLANE!

    Anti Emm! Anti Em! It's a Twister! It's a Twister! Toto! Toto!

  • arfamr1007 Mar 15, 2011

    OMG shut down all the coal plant too now say the tree huggers!! This is why we should switch to an all nuclear energy strategy (minus the solar, hydro, and other clean forms we already use)

  • kikinc Mar 15, 2011

    TheDude-Thank you. I was hoping I wouldn't be the only one to find that post oozing with sarcasm.

  • TheDude abides... Mar 15, 2011

    I think DEATHROW-I-FEEL-YOUR-PAIN was being sarcastic. I think he's commenting on the rashness to criticize ALL nuclear power just because of ONE earthquake/tsunami combo in Japan.

    GOLO is full of crazy folks ready to jump on somebody. Why?

  • tran Mar 15, 2011

    "Horrible disaster. We must outlaw all Steam Electric Plants. They are horribly dangerous."

    And replace them with what?

    Steam Electric Plants (coal fired and nuclear) constitute the bulk of our generating capacity.

  • uncw05 Mar 15, 2011

    isitjustmebut- in all fairness, they can get the "power's not out message" from anyone living in the area, the "everyone is safe" message has to come from people who are probably busy right now trying to make sure that's the outcome.