Nebraska men sentenced for company's safety violations

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha company and two of its owners were sentenced Friday to federal prison for knowingly violating worker safety standards, leading to an explosion that killed two workers.

Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services; Steven Michael Braithwaite, president and owner of the business; and Adam Thomas Braithwaite, vice-president and co-owner, pleaded guilty in July to willful violations of federal safety regulations and submitting false documents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Adam Braithwaite also pleaded guilty to perjury.

Prosecutors said that on April 14, 2015, NRCS workers were removing petroleum residue from a rail tanker car when gasses inside the car ignited and exploded.

Employees Adrian LaPour and Dallas Foulk were killed and a third employee was injured.

Steven Braithwaite was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution. Adam Braithwaite was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and must pay $100,000 restitution. The company and the two men also must serve five years of probation and pay a $21,000 fine.

The defendants admitted in their plea agreements that they falsely claimed to OSHA before the explosion that they were taking safety precautions and testing the railcars for benzene.