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Demolition company working on collapsed Adams Co. power plant also involved in fatal 2015 accident

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 09:10:51-05

The demolition contractor in charge of bringing down the Killen Generating Station in Adams County was also involved in a fatal industrial accident at another Ohio power plant in 2015.

Kingfisher Development LLC, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Commercial Liability Partners (CLP), in 2019 hired Adamo Demolition Co. out of Detroit to demolish the former coal-burning power plant near Manchester, Ohio. Search and rescue crews believe five Adamo workers were inside a building at the site when it came down around them unexpectedly Wednesday morning, according to Adams County Sheriff Kimmy Rogers.

Rogers said the cause of the collapse was still under investigation as of Wednesday afternoon. As of his 3 p.m. update, three workers had been rescued from the rubble and sent to nearby hospitals, and crews believed two others were still missing.

The I-Team has learned that Adamo was the same company in charge of demolishing the Muskingum River Plant near Beverly, Ohio. That's where, in December 2015, the company's CEO, John T. Adamo, Jr., was struck and killed by a steel cable that broke loose from a conveyor bridge used to haul coal into the plant, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration records.

OSHA cited the company with four serious violations in the summer of 2016, and Adamo's widow later filed a wrongful death suit against the company. That case was settled out of court last year. OSHA proposed fines totaling $28,000 against Adamo, but the amount was reduced to $12,500 in a 2017 settlement with the company.

The I-Team reached out to Adamo executives by phone and email Wednesday but did not immediately hear back.

The Manchester facility is not the only local retired coal-burning plant owned by CLP. Washington County Commissioner Rick Walters in 2016 told the Marietta Times CLP owned the Muskingum facility and hired Adamo to manage its demolition before the fatal accident.

The firm also owns the Beckjord Plant in New Richmond, Ohio, purchased from Duke Energy in 2018 with plans to remediate the site and convert it into an industrial park and port terminal.

As the I-Team previously reported, residents living near that facility have complained about the environmental impact of the cleanup work, specifically citing dust clouds forming in the area.

WCPO also reached out by email to representatives with CLP but did not immediately hear back.

I-Team reporters Craig Cheatham and Paula Christian contributed to this story.

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