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APS documents provide more info about deadly underground fire

Man killed in underground explosion in downtown Phoenix
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 23:22:22-04

PHOENIX — Documents filed by APS to the Arizona Corporation Commission reveal there were five workers on scene the night of a deadly fire in an underground vault in downtown Phoenix.

The crew was comprised of three electricians, a supervisor and an apprentice.

The fire killed Ricardo Castillo and a second crew member was injured while doing routine maintenance. The three others who were present were not injured.

The crew was about three hours into their shift when the fire sparked. The corporation commission has requested information from APS surrounding what happened before, during and after the fire, which cut off power to a large portion of downtown for several days.

APS says its own investigation is still in progress, but according to its accident prevention manual, the crew on scene is required to discuss ahead of time their entry plan and how they'll signal in case of an emergency. Fire extinguishers are required in all APS vehicles and workers are trained how to do first aid and CPR.

APS says the manhole the crew was working in did not require a permit. According to the manual, that means the crew was not required to wear safety harnesses. However, the manual states it's in good practice to wear one regardless.

ABC15 asked APS if the crew was wearing them the night of the June 30 explosion. A spokesperson says that's part of the investigation.