CIO Briefing

U.S. Faults Operator of Texas Explosion Site

Tony Gutierrez/AP

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.

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.

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