INDIANTOWN, Fla. (AP) - An explosion sparked a fire at a Florida
Power & Light plant on Monday, but the flames were doused without
any serious injuries reported, a company spokesman said.
The explosion was in a turbine of one of the electric units at
the plant near Indiantown in western Martin County, northwest of
the Palm Beach area, FPL spokesman Bill Swank said. About 150
workers were evacuated and the unit was shut down.
Swank said the plant's three other units remained operational.
He didn't know when the damaged unit would be running again.
The unit produces 800 megawatts an hour, which is enough energy
to supply 70,000 Florida homes. However, no homes lost power
because the plant feeds into a statewide power grid that stayed
online, Swank said.
The explosion was apparently caused by a mixture of hydrogen and
oil that leaked from the plant's equipment and combusted, Martin
County District Fire Chief Jim Loffredo said. They didn't
immediately determine what caused the leak.
Loffredo said the fire was near tanks of explosive hydrogen and
fuel but firefighters extinguished it in about a half-hour before
it could cause another explosion.
Swank said there was a vibration and a loud noise in the turbine
before the fire started but it didn't blow apart.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press