Overbrook man and coworker die from injuries in Westar Energy power plant accident

TOPEKA, Kan. – An Overbrook man was one of two Westar Energy employees who died Sunday from injuries sustained at Jeffrey Energy Center. Operations supervisors Craig Burchett, 45, of Overbrook, and Jesse Henson, 45, of Manhattan, were critically injured when a piece of equipment with high pressure steam behind it apparently failed.

The incident at the energy center happened about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, June 3, 2018. Burchett and Henson were transported by helicopter to the University of Kansas Medical Center, where they were treated for severe burns, but they did not survive.

“Our Westar employees work very closely together and form strong bonds,” said John

Bridson, Westar’s senior vice president of generation. “All of us who worked with Craig and Jesse are grieving and thinking of their families as we cope with this loss.”

Jeffrey Energy Center, north of St. Marys, is Westar’s largest power plant with three generating units. All three units are shut down while the full circumstances of the incident are reviewed. The company will resume operations at the plant when it can safely do so.

Information from Westar Energy.

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