Published: Jan 05, 2011 1:05 AM EST
Updated: Jan 04, 2011 7:15 PM EST

Posen Construction is facing an investigation after an explosion at one of its work sites in its  home state of Michigan.   A fire chief there says "massive stupidity" led to the blast on December 23.

"It was massive stupidity, just ignorance on their part," said Chief Rick Ericson of the Ann Arbor Township Fire Department.   "They have made some mistakes and safety  violations.    They are just lucky that no lives were lost."

The chief says Posen employees were working in a 30-foot pit as part of a utility project.    Workers left two propane tanks on, the night of Dec. 22.    But they did not alert the morning crew, that the gas was on in the pit.   So when workers showed up the morning of the 23rd, and lit a torch, it set off a large explosion in the pit.    One worker remains hospitalized.   Two others were treated for less severe injuries and released from a hospital.

"It violated most standards of how you deal with a confined space, such as a pit," said Chief Ericson.   "The list of violations continues to grow."

It follows the gas line rupture and explosion and fire in Fort Myers last Nov. 11.   A Posen employee, Mario Santos, was working along Colonial Blvd, when he struck a gas line.    Teco Gas and some Lee Co. officials have accused Posen of not maintaining a proper marking of the gas line.    The office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the Lee County incident.   It cut off gas to nearly 7000 customers, some for a period of days.

Once again on Tuesday, Posen had no comment on the Ft. Myers incident.    The company also is locked in a dispute with the state and Lee County, over the costs of cleaning up asbestos-contaminated dirt at College and Summerlin.