2 workers injured at Slim Jim plant sue contracting firm

RALEIGH, NC (AP) - Two workers injured in an explosion at a Slim Jim processing plant in North Carolina have sued a contracting firm, saying that company is responsible for a natural gas leak identified as the cause of the blast.

Attorney David Stradley of Raleigh says the lawsuit was filed late Monday afternoon in Johnston County. He says employees Leonard Spruill of Selma and Tammie O'Neal of Zebulon sued Raleigh-based Southern Industrial Constructors.

Federal investigators have said a natural gas leak caused the explosion, which killed three people June 9 and injured dozens at the Garner plant.

Southern Industrial President John Wilson says the company had five employees working under the supervision of ConAgra's maintenance department. Although Stradley said building permits indicated Southern Industrial employees were installing natural gas-fired water heaters, Wilson said his company has never installed a water heater at ConAgra.

He says he's confident that his company has no involvement.

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