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Company denies negligence in Eufaula explosion

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: January 13, 2014 at 9:10 am •  Published: January 13, 2014

EUFAULA — A McAlester propane company has denied wrongdoing in civil lawsuits filed over an explosion at a Eufaula plant that killed one man and injured another.

Two lawsuits have been filed in McIntosh County District Court against RAM Inc./W.E. Allford Propane since the May 7 explosion at Ford Sand Blasting. Don Hamilton died from his injuries, while Michael Leslie Cox was severely burned.

"RAM, Inc. is extremely sympathetic towards the victims' families and regrets that this tragic accident has occurred," the company said in a statement. "However, RAM, Inc. categorically denies that it was negligent and that its actions had anything to do with causing the accident. In fact, after an investigation into the accident lasting nearly six months, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that no citations should be issued to RAM, Inc."

Lawsuits filed by the families of Hamilton and Cox allege the explosion was caused by leaking propane from a tank owned and maintained by Allford Propane. The suits each seek more than $1 million in damages. The plant's owner has said the blast was caused by a "flash explosion."

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