West Fertilizer Co. Texas fertilizer plant cited for safety lapses

Fetilizer plant explodes and kills 15 people

WASHINGTON -    The federal government has cited the company that operated a Texas fertilizer plant that exploded in April and killed 15 people.

   The West Fertilizer Co. is being hit with 24 serious safety violations and a proposed fine of more than $118,000.

   The citations are the first from the federal government. Violations include unsafe handling and storage of two fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate.

   The company is also being cited for failure to have an emergency response plan, respiratory protection or appropriate fire extinguishers.

   The Labor Department issued the citations Wednesday. Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California announced them Thursday because most of the Labor Department is closed due to the government shutdown.

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