Federal safety regulators have cited two contractors for failing to locate a gas main that exploded during work in a Madison suburb last July.
A statement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Kansas-based Bear Communications and Michigan-based VC Tech have been issued serious safety violations. They now face fines of $12,934 each – the maximum penalty allowed.
A VC Tech employee hit the gas main while installing fiber optic cable for Verizon Wireless last July. The resulting blast leveled half a city block in Sun Prairie and killed firefighter Corey Barr.
The citations say that neither contractor contacted We Energies, which owns the line, or the Digger's Hotline.
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The companies have 15 business days from the day they received the citation to comply with the fine, request a conference with OSHA, or contest the findings.
Last month, authorities announced that they would not seek criminal charges for the incident.
Barr's widow has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, and two other firefighters who were injured in the blast have filed civil suits.