Employer Of Fireworks Victims Previously Cited

The South Carolina company that employed four workers who died following an explosion as they unloaded fireworks on North Carolina's Outer Banks had been cited for at least one previous accident.

A 2001 explosion at Melrose South Pyrotechnics' plant near Rock Hill killed a 24-year-old seasonal employee and injured a 22-year-old worker. In a settlement with the state, the company agreed to pay a reduced fine of $20,750 without acknowledging any wrongdoing.

Two years ago, two employees were hurt during a fireworks show at Fort Stewart, Ga. Officials blamed a malfunctioning firework that detonated prematurely and started a chain reaction.

The company said in a statement Monday that employees are working with federal and local officials to determine what caused the July 4 accident.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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