The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found the Adair Grain Company of West, Texas in violation of a number of safety rules and has issued 24 citations related to the April 17 explosion. The blast killed 15 and injured more than 160 citizens. While no criminal violations have been noted, the safety infractions added up to $118,300 in fines leveled at Adair Grain Co.
It is believed a fire started in a seed room and then spread to a nearby ammonium nitrate (AN) storage area where roughly 30 of the 150 tons of AN stored there exploded. The Explosion created a crater 90 feet wide by 10 feet deep, destroyed or damaged 200 homes and caused over $100 million in property damage.
Adair Grain had not been inspected by OSHA since 1985 before this and the safety violations cited included unsafe handling and storage of anhydrous ammonia and AN, poor labeling of ammonia storage tanks, faulty hoses and a host of others.
Senator Barbara Boxer relayed the announcement to reporters Thursday morning, vowing to tighten safety regulations at chemical and fertilizer storage depots and suppliers across the nation. The government shutdown has tabled the federal probe for now, but Boxer says the investigation will resume as she and her Chemical Safety Board work to fulfill the Obama administration's call to increase safety regulations.