Explosion kills employee at NW Houston industrial complex

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - An explosion Friday at an industrial complex on Houston's northwest side killed a worker. It's the second time an employee has died at the same facility in less than a year.

Local 2 Investigates has learned the federal government has sent OSHA investigators to the Madden industrial complex and they've been there before.

Reports of an explosion at the Madden Bolt Corporation surfaced Thursday night. The blast caused a large piece of equipment to fly through the air and land on a 31-year-old employee, killing him. Exactly what went wrong to cause that calamity is now the subject of a federal investigation. 

The images from Thursday night are eerily similar to video Local 2 shot last year at Madden Galvanizing, a sister company that shares the same address on Hempstead Highway. On that night in September 2013 a worker was ejected and crushed in a forklift accident.

Local 2 Investigates found OSHA initially levied more than $18,000 in fines against the company for workplace safety violations, including no seatbelt and improper training.

A company spokesman Friday claimed last year's matter was settled without Madden Galvanizing admitting fault.

There is still a pending lawsuit filed by the victim's widow against Madden Galvanizing regarding last year's death. It may take months before OSHA readies their report in Thursday night's incident.

Late Friday afternoon, an OSHA representative disputed Madden Galvanizing's claim that last year's accident had been settled without the company admitting blame. OSHA says the matter is still under review.

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