Atchison — Families of four of the six people who died in an explosion at a grain elevator in northeast Kansas have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against some the elevator's employees.
The families contend in the lawsuits that employees of Bartlett Grain Co., including current president Bob Knief, disregarded the safety and health of the workers.
An explosion in October 2011 killed four Bartlett employees and two grain inspectors. The lawsuits were filed Monday by families of the Bartlett employees.
Investigators determined the explosion was an accident but federal safety officials accused Bartlett of willfully ignoring workplace rules. Officials proposed $406,000 in fines against Bartlett.
The Kansas City Star reports the company has vowed to fight the fines. It issued a statement Tuesday saying employees acted appropriately and reasonably before the explosion.