KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee prosecutor wants an investigation into how cleanup workers in a massive 2008 coal ash spill were treated.

District Attorney General Russell Johnson tells the Knoxville News Sentinel he has talked with several state agencies about possibly investigating cleanup conditions from Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant.

Additionally, Johnson wrote to state environmental officials that the situation begs for federal investigation or prosecution.

More than 50 sickened workers and survivors of at least three who died are suing California-based Jacobs Engineering in federal court. They say they weren’t warned coal ash was toxic or even provided basic protective gear.

When a dike gave way in 2008, more than 5 million cubic yards of sludge from the plant spilled into two rivers, destroying homes in a nearby waterfront community.

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