Kingston coal ash spill workers treated as 'expendables,' lawsui - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Kingston coal ash spill workers treated as 'expendables,' lawsuit by sick and dying contends

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In a Dec. 22, 2008, photograph, a home is engulfed near the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County after the failure of a dike that unleashed more than 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash sludge. Photo by J. Miles Cary/News Sentinel In a Dec. 22, 2008, photograph, a home is engulfed near the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County after the failure of a dike that unleashed more than 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash sludge. Photo by J. Miles Cary/News Sentinel
KINGSTON, TN (News Sentinel) -

It was the nation’s largest coal ash spill, and it would bring a stampede of government supervisors, environmental advocates, lawyers, journalists, politicians and contractors to Kingston, TN.

But not one of them asked why the hundreds of blue-collar laborers cleaning up the mess weren’t wearing even basic dust masks.

Or why their safety gear consisted of nothing more than short-sleeved T-shirts, jeans, work boots and vinyl reflective vests.

Now, nearly a decade later, at least 17 of those workers are dead, dozens more are dying, and the conditions under which they worked are being blamed

Read more from our news partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

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