Fire marshal: Victim of fatal blast reported unsafe work environ - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Fire marshal: Victim of fatal blast reported unsafe work environment

Marie Sanderson (Source: Family photo) Marie Sanderson (Source: Family photo)
An explosion at the Ultratec site killed 2 and injured several others. (Source: WAFF) An explosion at the Ultratec site killed 2 and injured several others. (Source: WAFF)
The ATF is now looking into what it calls "irregularity issues" involving the plant. (Source: WAFF) The ATF is now looking into what it calls "irregularity issues" involving the plant. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The Alabama Fire Marshal's Office confirmed Wednesday that a portion of a fireworks plant involved in a deadly explosion will be shut down following a court order.

A cease-and-desist order was issued that closes part of the Ultratec plant in Madison County.

Fire Marshal Ed Paulk said he delivered the order to the company after finding code compliance violations.

READ: Cease & Desist Order issued to Ultratec (PDF)

The order affects the production portion of the facility, where the fireworks are packed and assembled.

The violations were discovered after an explosion at the plant in February, which resulted in the loss of two lives and injuries to several others.

MORE: 2 killed in fireworks plant explosion

An inspection following the explosion cites five violations, ranging from improper storage of materials to cross-contamination concerns.

State Fire Marshal Inspector Greg Pinkard stated in the documentation that the company's general manager hired a man to manage one side of the plant.

Pinkard said the general manager admitted that man was hired to push employees for production and that he didn't know how the chemicals mixture formulas worked.

The man went to employee Aimee Cothran the morning of the explosion and wanted her to produce 18,000 grams of material every 30 minutes. 

Cothran said only 5,000 could be produced. Multiple employees stated the man threatened and cursed at employees and threatened to fire them. 

Witnesses say Cothran went to the general manager about the supervisor's threats and said it was an unsafe working environment. 

Cothran had 14 years experience. Witnesses say Cothran planned to go to the company owner the week she died in the explosion.

Paulk said Ultratec has five days to appeal the order with the Madison County Circuit Court.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed it is now looking into what it calls "irregularity issues" involving the plant, which has encountered several other safety incidents in its history

An ATF spokesperson said the company is aware of these issues and is working with the agency.

We have reached out to Ultratec company representatives and are awaiting a response. 

The fire marshal said he expects to be back at the plant when they notify him they are ready for an inspection to ensure they are now compliant with code.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • Inside WAFFMore>>

  • Related stories

    Related stories

    Wednesday, March 25 2015 4:18 PM EDT2015-03-25 20:18:34 GMT
    Wednesday, March 25 2015 4:18 PM EDT2015-03-25 20:18:37 GMT
    2 killed in blastHistory of plantMore >>
    2 killed in blastHistory of plantMore >>
Powered by Frankly