Boat Captain Convicted in Chicago Barge Explosion

CHICAGO (AP)–A federal judge in Chicago has found a tugboat captain involved in a deadly 2005 explosion guilty of negligent manslaughter.

In a news release, the U.S. Attorney’s office says Dennis Michael Egan of Topeka, Illinois faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in September.
Judge James Zagel also found Egan and the Lemont company owned by a family member he worked for guilty of misdemeanor oil pollution of a navigable waterway.

During the trial, prosecutors contended Egan allowed deckhand Alex Oliva to use a propane torch to unfreeze a cargo pump. That, they say, set off an explosion that killed Oliva, sank the barge and dumped 600,000 gallons of oil into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

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