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Farmington fined over $22,000 in fatal propane explosion

The Farmington explosion destroyed nonprofit group LEAP Inc., killed Farmington fire Capt. Michael Bell and injured 7 other people in 2019

FARMINGTON, Maine — The town of Farmington must pay more than $22,000 in fines for failing to ensure firefighters had proper training and equipment when they investigated a propane leak that caused a deadly explosion last year.

The Farmington explosion destroyed nonprofit group LEAP Inc., killed Farmington fire Capt. Michael Bell and injured seven other people. On March 12, NEWS CENTER Maine reported that The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) levied fines to two businesses that were connected to the explosion. The businesses, Life Enrichment Advancing People (LEAP) was fined for $12,145, and Techno Metal Post Me. LLC was fined $4,048. 

OSHA stated both violations were serious and wrote, “The employer did not initiate and maintain programs which provided for frequent and regular inspections of the job site, materials, and equipment to be made by a competent person.”

Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis tells the Bangor Daily News the town does not dispute the citations, has corrected the violations and plans to ask for lesser fines.

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