Explosion occurs at State Line Generating Station

UPDATE: State Line Generating Station explosion

The fire resulting from an explosion at the State Line Generating Station in Hammond, Ind., has been extinguished. A total of 17 people were injured. Six were treated on site. Eleven were transported to area hospitals. The 17 injured include three who were trapped on the roof, rescued and taken to area hospitals to be treated for possible heat exhaustion.

EARLIER TODAY: Fourteen people were injured today in an explosion and fire that occurred at the State Line Generating Station near Hammond, Ind.

The 490-megawatt coal-fired power plant is owned by Southern Energy, Inc., a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company.

All of the injured workers were contractors. Five were treated on site for minor injuries. Nine were transported to area hospitals.

The explosion occurred at about 7:45 a.m. CDT in a coal handling area of the plant. One unit was off line at the time of the explosion, and the other unit came off line after the incident occurred. The plant is not currently producing electricity. The fire is still burning but is contained. There were also three workers trapped on the roof who have been rescued and taken to area hospitals to be treated for possible heat exhaustion. Two of those are State Line employees. One is a contract worker. All of the 59 State Line employees working at the time of the explosion have been accounted for.

Southern Energy acquired the plant from Commonwealth Edison in December 1997. The plant has two units in operation. One unit was built in 1955, the other in 1962. Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company, through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, supplies electricity in 10 countries on four continents. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services and Southern LINC wireless telecommunications. Its common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America. Southern Energy develops, builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of energy services to utilities and industries around the world.