State News

State changes guidelines after ConAgra collapse

Posted September 15, 2009 5:37 p.m. EDT
Updated September 15, 2009 7:13 p.m. EDT

— A North Carolina safety panel has adopted emergency changes to its guidelines in the wake of a fatal explosion at a Slim Jim factory.

The North Carolina Building Code Council voted Tuesday to alter its standards to require that workers who are purging indoor gas lines vent the gas to a safe place outside the building. It said workers should take proper precautions if venting is not possible, including the evacuation of nonessential personnel.

The June explosion at a ConAgra Foods Inc. facility in Garner caused part of the building's roof to collapse, killing three workers and sending dozens of others to the hospital. Investigators believe contractors installing a water heater vented natural gas inside the building, leading to the blast.