All On Georgia

Company ordered to pay $302,500 for deadly Georgia gas leak

A Georgia official has ordered a supplier of pressurized gasses to pay $302,500 in civil penalties after a sheriff’s deputy died from inhaling liquid nitrogen that leaked from one of its tanks.

Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said Wednesday that Radnor, Pennsylvania, based AirGas USA failed to meet inspection requirements for more than 740 bulk gas tanks used by customers statewide.

Richmond County Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Meagher died in February while responding to liquid nitrogen leak at an Augusta sperm bank. Hudgens’ office said in a news release the leak was caused by too much pressure in the tank.

AirGas said in a statement that inspections of tanks in Georgia have been ongoing since March. It said Hudgens’ account “does not reflect the complexity” of the Augusta leak.