Wisconsin regulators leveled a $25,000 fine Thursday against a contractor involved in last summer’s fatal Sun Prairie gas explosion.
The Public Service Commission determined that drilling company VC Tech violated state law when it failed to contact the state’s underground utility location service before starting work on July 10, 2018.
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.
Saying they understand the pressures excavators face to meet deadlines, the commissioners agreed that following the law can be a matter of life and death.
“VC Tech knew or should have known … it could cause harm,” said Commissioner Ellen Nowak. “It caused harm in the worst possible way.”