U.S. Faults Operator of Texas Explosion Site

Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 11, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

The United States is pur­su­ing nearly $120,000 in pen­al­ties against an Iowa-based com­pany over al­leged pro­ced­ur­al lapses at the site of a deadly April fer­til­izer plant ex­plo­sion in West, Texas, the Los Angeles Times re­por­ted on Thursday.

Adair Grain’s mis­steps in­cluded “un­safe hand­ling and stor­age” of am­moni­um ni­trate, as well as lack­ing a blue­print to handle pos­sible crises at the fa­cil­ity, ac­cord­ing to the Oc­cu­pa­tion­al Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment shut­down forced the sus­pen­sion of a probe in­to spe­cif­ic factors be­hind the April 17 det­on­a­tion, which caused 15 deaths and wounded more than 160 people.

De­fense law­yers began ex­amin­ing the OSHA charges, said Daniel Keeney, spokes­man for the Adair Grain sub­si­di­ary in charge of the plant.

“Based on their ini­tial re­view, they don’t be­lieve that any of the al­leg­a­tions had any­thing to do” with April’s ex­plo­sion, Keeney said.