Nation IN BRIEF : NORTH CAROLINA : Record Fine Levied in Chicken Plant Fire
Owners of a Hamlet, N.C., chicken processing plant where 25 people died in a September fire were fined $808,150, a state record, for locking doors and violating other safety codes meant to protect workers. State Labor Commissioner John Brooks said the fine sends a message to employers that the state will not tolerate similar conditions in other plants. Criminal charges are also a possibility, he said. At a news conference to announce the penalty, Brooks denied that the state was responsible for inspecting the plant before the Sept. 3 fire at Imperial Food Products. The fire also injured 56.