Marie Sanderson of Union Grove and Amiee Cothran of Huntsville, both workers at the Ultratec fireworks company on Owens Cross Rd. have died as a result of an explosion at the factory Friday afternoon, February 6, 2015 at approximately 1:15 pm. According to Sgt., Brian Chaffin of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Sanderson died at the scene and Cothran died a short while later at Huntsville Hospital. A third person, McKenna Whorton, daughter of State Rep. Richie Whorton, suffered severe second-degree burns to her hands legs and face, and was flown to UAB Burn Center
Witnesses to the explosion from up to a mile away said they could feel their cars and houses shake as a result of the explosion, describing the blast as a massive boom. FBI and criminal investigators are currently conducting an on-scene investigation.
There have other major incidents at the fireworks facility in recent years. According to www.waff.com, Ultratec, previously known as LunaTech, fireworks factory has a history of explosions and fires that have caused employee injuries and now deaths dating back to 1999. OSHA fines and penalties over the years have amounted to over $50,000 for inadequate safety conditions that led to previous explosions and complaints dating back to 1984. http://www.waff.com/story/28047435/history-of-ultratec-fireworks-plant
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