Kentucky’s Labor Cabinet said Tuesday that its Occupational Safety and Health Program has opened an investigation into eight deaths at a tornado-destroyed candle factory in the town of Mayfield, a routine probe that Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said he expected would “get to the bottom of what happened” at a facility where 110 workers were buried under a collapsed ceiling and walls.
The vast majority of employees on the Friday night shift survived the devastation at Mayfield Consumer Products, where, the company said, all workers sheltered in place as a storm of extraordinary strength pummeled the area on its tear through four states. Experts said investigators — and insurers — would look closely at the factory’s emergency plan, how it was communicated to employees, whether it was followed that night and whether the stucco-sided building complied with building codes. The investigation could take six months, a Labor Cabinet spokeswoman said.