Imperial Sugar won't be prosecuted on federal criminal charges - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Imperial won't be prosecuted on federal criminal charges

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that it will not prosecute Imperial Sugar for the Feb. 7, 2008, explosion on federal criminal charges.

There was no federal criminal statute that addressed workers' safety within the sugar industry at the time of the explosion regarding federal criminal, according to U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver's Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

The explosion was caused by sugar dust that can become combustible when suspended in air.

The U.S. Attorney's Office was asked by the Department of Labor's to considered whether what happened at Imperial Sugar should be charged as a criminal violation of OSHA's "general housekeeping" standards, which is a misdemeanor offense.

U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver concluded that there was insufficient evidence of disregard or plain indifference to OSHA's general housekeeping standards to charge Imperial Sugar with a criminal violation, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

WTOC contacted Port Wentworth mayor Glenn Jones for comment.

"The legal aspects of this situation have never been a big concern of mine. For the families who lost loved ones, they might think differently and rightly so. But my thoughts have always been praying for the families and making sure they were taken care of. That's my main conern," Mayor Jones said.

Jones says the tragedy in Port Wentworth is still on the minds of everyone there each day.

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