Imperial Sugar may see big fine for plant infractions
- By RUSS BYNUM/AP, via Houston Chronicle
The day of the Georgia explosion, workers beneath one of the storage silos had been knocking loose hardened sugar with metal rods, causing large amounts of dust to accumulate in a confined space, said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's lead investigator in the case.
The silo elevator and conveyors beneath it were shut down at the time, he said. But when workers on the next shift turned them on later, enough dust remained in the air to ignite like gunpowder. The initial explosion forced more dust into other parts of the plant, he said, causing several secondary explosions.