STATESVILLE, N.C. -- The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health says the explosion at the Bartlett Milling Company in Statesville over the weekend is even more tragic because it appears to have been entirely preventable.
One man was seriously injured when an explosion led to a fire and wall collapse at the flour mill Sunday morning.
Statesville Police say two maintenance workers were repairing a piece of equipment in the basement at the mill on South Center Street when the explosion occurred.
One of the men turned the power back on, causing a spark and flash fire. A second man in the basement was injured. After his co-worker got him out of the building, he was taken to Iredell Memorial and flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
His name and condition have not been released.
The national council says an accumulation of combustible flour dust is the prime suspect as the cause of Sunday's explosion.
In October 2011, a grain elevator explosion at Bartlett Grain Company in Atchison, Kansas, killed six workers. OSHA cited Bartlett Grain with 13 violations of workplace safety rules, with fines of more than $400,000.
Just six months ago, according to the National Council for Occupation Safety and Health, an inspection by OSHA at that facility found safety standard violations that potentially explosive grain not be allowed to accumulate.
The Charlotte Observer contributed to this report.