ATCHISON, Kan. — The federal government has sharply reduced the fines facing a Kansas City-based company after a grain elevator explosion killed six people and injured two others in northeast Kansas.

A pending settlement would require Bartlett Grain Co. to pay $182,000 in fines, safety audits and improvements at its 20 grain handling facilities in six states.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration had proposed $406,000 in fines after the October 2011 explosion in Atchison.

The Kansas City Star reports the agreement must still be approved by an administrative law judge.

Kansas investigators previously determined the grain dust explosion was accidental. Federal investigators have declined to file any criminal charges.

OSHA said previously that the deaths could have been prevented had operators addressed known industry hazards.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com