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Boring Company Tunnel Workers Scarred by Toxic Sludge

For the workers doing the digging, the project has been anything but a smooth ride.

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company has been busy building a series of tunnels beneath Las Vegas that will eventually connect several spots throughout the city for quick, largely traffic-free trips. “In the coming years, you will be able to travel almost anywhere in Vegas ultra fast,” is how Musk recently described it on X. But for the workers digging, it’s been anything but a smooth ride.

Bloomberg Business recently published an investigative report on working conditions in the tunnels and found them to be less than ideal. Construction crews are currently working on a tunnel connecting the Westgate and Encore hotels with the Las Vegas Convention Center. Those crews are having to deal with thick muck pooling as deep as two feet in some areas.

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Having boots full of sludge would be bad enough. But it’s apparently toxic, too. The work in the tunnels involves using accelerants to cure the seals around concrete supports and those accelerants have been seeping into the muddy ooze, causing irritation to workers who come in contact with it.

Bloomberg reviewed an OSHA report about conditions in The Boring Company’s tunnels and found that workers were becoming permanently scarred from exposure to the accelerants. In at least one case, a worker was hit in the face by some of the harmful goop.

OSHA, which also detailed a close call in which an intern was almost crushed by concrete blocks, hit The Boring Company with eight “serious violations.”

Musk’s original dreams of a hyperloop transportation system letting passengers travel at ultra-fast speeds between major cities haven’t come true. The fruits of The Boring Company are largely limited to the nascent, Tesla-run shuttle system under Las Vegas, where progress involves wading through some seriously nasty mud.

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