OSHA citation issued against ML Albright & Sons for gas line explosion

LEWISTON, ID - An explosion in Lewiston that took place several months ago is a very different scene today than it was in November.

There are still some charred pieces of material left over but we all remember the huge flames that shot high into the air.

An excavator from ML Albright and Sons struck a gas line that lies underneath the ground. According to the citation handed down from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is listed as a serious violation, the employer didn't anticipate the changes in depth for the existing gas line.

OSHA maintains that the company could have dug or used other means to locate the gas line prior to striking it with the bucket of the excavator. Assistant Area Director Patrick Nies of the Department of Labor said that while the local company took precautions, all accidents can are avoidable... even this one.

"We did consider their efforts up to the point of the situation and that was considered ultimately decided to issue the citation," said Nies.

The fine was originally listed as $4,900 but was later reduced to $2,450.

Luckily no one was injured in the explosion and there was minimal damage to the surrounding area.