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PROVIDENCE – Federal safety officials have fined a Rhode Island wood-pellet company $43,000 for alleged violations related to a 2013 explosion and fire, The Associated Press reported last week.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it has cited Inferno Wood Pellet Inc. for 11 violations of safety rules at its East Providence plant.
“The lack of safeguards allowed the initial fire and explosion to occur and spread in a chain reaction to other equipment and through the plant,” said Patrick Griffin, OSHA’s area director for Rhode Island.
A worker was injured in the explosion and four-alarm fire on Aug. 20, 2013. Authorities later determined the cause to be combustible wood dust, the AP said.
Griffin told the AP proper safeguards could have reduced the risk of the fire.
The company has 15 business days to contest the fine or attempt to negotiate a settlement. •