According to the story, "inadequate housekeeping practices allowed highly combustible sugar dust and granulated sugar to buildup throughout the refinery’s packing buildings," leaving conditions ripe for a dust explosion.
Chemical Safety and Hazard Board Investigation Supervisor John Vorderbrueggen said: "Imperial''s management as well as the managers at the Port Wentworth refinery did not take effective actions over many years to control dust explosion hazards – even as smaller fires and explosions continued to occur at their plants and other sugar facilities around the country."
Cleanup and repair costs related to the explosion are estimated at $220 million, the story noted.
The Chemical Safety and Hazard Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations; those urged of Imperial include developing a dust training and housekeeping program and improving evacuation procedures, as well as complying with National Fire Protection Association
practices for preventing dust fires and explosions, the story added.