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Fireworks Executive Pleads Guilty

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A former executive of two sister fireworks companies pleaded guilty Monday to a federal count of lying to investigators.

The case against Russell Nickel is the last of several that followed three serious explosions at a Jefferson County plant that made fireworks for Pyro Products and its sister company, Next FX, Inc.

Two workers died and five others were hurt. None of the executives were accused in the deaths or injuries.

Two other defendants as well as the companies have also pleaded guilty and face sentencing in July.

Nickel's plea stemmed from a 2001 explosion in which three workers were injured. U.S. Attorney Ray Gruender says Nickel lied to OSHA investigators when he denied involvement with Next FX. Nickel will be sentenced in August.

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