- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

HUDSON, S.D. (AP) - Federal investigators have found multiple safety violations at a South Dakota ethanol refinery expansion project after a worker died in May.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a contractor, North Dakota-based Bilfinger Westcon Inc., with five major safety violations.

Investigators found 38-year-old Zenon Navarrete was removing a vent line May 6 when ethanol spilled onto him, flowed through a grated floor and was ignited by welding operations on a lower floor. The fire engulfed Navarrete, who died. Another employee was injured.

Inspectors found Bilfinger Westcon allowed welding without ensuring flammable liquids weren’t present. OSHA also cited the refinery owner, Sioux River Ethanol LLC, which operates as POET Biorefining, for violations.

In separate statements to The Associated Press, both Bilfinger Westcon and POET Biorefining said they were reviewing OHSA’s report.

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