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, 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.

Do you have a loved one who was a victim of a wrongful death or has suffered a personal injury? A wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the negligent, careless, intentional, or reckless act of another person or entity. The loss of someone you care about is never easy, but when the person’s death was a result of another person’s or an employer’s negligence or misconduct, the situation becomes even more complex. The attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson understand what you are going through—and the questions you want answered—and we have the experience to guide you through it.