May 2, 1989
Fines Proposed in Tunnel Blast: The Labor Department proposed $1.15 million in fines for two contractors cited for 115 safety violations in a methane gas explosion last year that killed three sewer tunnel workers in Milwaukee. S. A. Healy Co. of McCook, Ill., was cited for 68 willful violations carrying fines of $680,000 and CH2M Hill Central Inc. of Corvallis, Ore., was cited for 47 willful violations carrying penalties of $470,000. An OSHA official said the agency found that electrical power had not been turned off after workers were evacuated from the tunnel Nov. 10 after dangerously high levels of methane were detected.
November 11, 1988
A methane gas explosion ripped through an evacuated sewer tunnel under construction in Milwaukee, killing three workmen who had reentered the shaft to check whether it was safe for other workers to return. Rescue workers found the bodies of two men about 2,000 feet from the entrance of the 30-foot-deep tunnel more than five hours after the blast. The third body was recovered several hours later from the same area.