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Jurors Continue Deliberations In Xcel Plant Deaths

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DENVER (AP) – Jury deliberations have entered their second day in the criminal trial of Xcel Energy over the deaths of five workers at a water tunnel near Georgetown.

Jurors are back at the courthouse Friday, a day after both sides presented nearly four hours of closing arguments in the case.

Minneapolis-based Xcel and a subsidiary face five counts of violating federal safety regulations, including not having a rescue plan. The workers died as a result of smoke inhalation when a fire trapped them inside a tunnel near Georgetown, about 40 miles west of Denver.

Federal prosecutors say Xcel violated safety regulations by ignoring them. Defense attorney, Cliff Stricklin, says Xcel followed the law and the contractor that employed the workers was responsible for their safety. That company is set to go on trial later.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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