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41-year-old contractor dies at Mill Creek Generating Station

The Mill Creek Generating Station is photographed against a sunset and bare trees.
Ryan Van Velzer
Mill Creek Generating Station is a coal-fired power plant in Valley Station.

A 41-year-old man died Monday night at Louisville Gas and Electric’s Mill Creek coal-fired power plant in Valley Station.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Michael Sallengs and listed the cause of death as injuries sustained in an industrial accident. His body was discovered around 11 p.m. Monday.

LG&E spokesperson Chris Whelan said Sallengs was a contractor working for LG&E. Whelan said the utility is cooperating with police and working with Sallengs’ employer – The Wood Group – on an internal investigation. The Wood Group is a global consulting and engineering company.

“Our hearts are with the family of the contractor’s family and loved ones, the Wood Group and all of the employees who worked with him,” Whelan said in an email.

This is the third contractor death to occur at the power plant in the last 18 months.

A 19-year-old commercial diver drowned at the Mill Creek plant in July 2021 while inspecting an underwater intake pump in the Ohio River. LG&E is currently contesting nine federal safety violations amounting to $63,000 in fines related to a case that opened on the same date of that fatality. That investigation is still ongoing, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

That same month, another Wood Group contractor died of a heart attack while working on the plant’s HVAC system.

Whelan said safety is a top priority for LG&E employees and contractors. Following the other contractor deaths, the company started a contractor safety improvement initiative.

Ryan Van Velzer is the Kentucky Public Radio Managing Editor. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.

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