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We Energies' Bluff Collapse Dumped Debris, Likely Fuel, into Lake Michigan

Crews working to isolate debris at Oak Creek power plant.

, the focus shifted to a lengthy clean-up and investigation into what caused a bluff collapse at We Energies’ Oak Creek power plant Monday.

Acting Oak Creek Fire Chief Tom Rosandich said the collapse resulted in a "football-sized field of debris" and that fuel appeared to leak out into the Lake Michigan water. A fuel sheen could be seen several hundred yards away near the shore south of the plant.

Crews are working to isolate the debris and then remove whatever is there, We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said.

The collapse happened after an embankment gave away about 10:45 a.m., causing a mudslide and sending a pickup truck and two other vehicles into the lake.

No one was injured. In fact, very few people were working in the area and saw the collapse, Manthey said. Most of the workers will be back tomorrow.

“We’re incredibly fortunate there were no injuries,” Manthey said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

The accident was at a construction site where an air-quality control system was being implemented and did not cause any disruption to the plant’s operations.

The company will determine later how the cost of the cleanup will be handled, Manthey said.

Mark Schaaf October 31, 2011 at 10:12 PM
not sure yet, they are still investigating what is there. Acting Chief Rosandich said the sheen on the water was "most likely" fuel.

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