Fines Issued in Deadly Blast at Massachusetts Dealership

August 23, 2011

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has leveled fines in connection with a deadly explosion at a car dealership in West Springfield.

The Republican newspaper of Springfield reports that OSHA has fined Fuentes Enterprises, Inc., a contractor working for Balise Honda, $20,000 after issuing 12 citations against the company. Balise was fined $6,000.

Investigators believe 33-year-old Daniel Martinez caused the explosion when he used a lighter to look inside a container of flammable cleaning fluid. Martinez, a Fuentes employee, was killed.

OSHA cited Fuentes for failing to take precautions to prevent flammable vapors from igniting, and other violations. Balise was cited for not having copies of safety information.

The newspaper said officials of Fuentes and Balise could not immediately be reached for comment.

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