Regulators fine contractor $25,000 following gas explosion

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin regulators have leveled a $25,000 fine against a contractor involved in gas explosion last year in Sun Prairie that killed a firefighter.

The Public Service Commission on Thursday determined that drilling company VC Tech violated state law when it failed to contact the state's underground utility location service before starting work.

VC Tech workers struck an underground gas line while boring a hole for fiber-optic communications cable being installed by Verizon. The blast killed Cory Barr, a captain with the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department, and injured two other firefighters.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that commission members said Thursday that VC Tech knew or should have known their actions could cause harm. The vote to assess the fine was unanimous.

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