Engineer Removed Safety Probes

9 years 6 months 3 weeks ago August 01, 2007 Aug 1, 2007 Wednesday, August 01 2007 Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:32:52 PM CDT in News
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An Ameren engineer says a manager told him to remove critical safety probes at the Taum Sauk reservoir and test them just hours after the structure collapsed. Tom Pierie testified Wednesday at a Public Service Commission hearing on the reservoir's collapse in December 2005. The probes were designed to shut down pumps that filled the reservoir so the basin wouldn't overflow. Pierie said they were removed to find out why they hadn't worked. A Highway Patrol investigation revealed that Ameren employees or contractors adjusted the probes so the reservoir could run at full capacity. By the time of the collapse, the probes had effectively been disabled. A safety official previously said removal of the probes means officials may never know whether they were properly set before the accident. Pierie disagreed, saying cables marked with electrical tape were left so officials could tell where they had been set.

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