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Staff File Photo by Doug Strickland A plume billows from the Wacker polysilicon chemical plant after an explosion released a hydrogen chemical gas on Sept. 7., 2017, in Charleston, Tenn. The explosion and leaks are under investigation and officials now say the plant will be closed for "several months."

The Wacker Polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tenn. was cited for two serious violations after investigators found the company did not have necessary safeguards in place to prevent an Aug. 30 incident that sent five workers to an area hospital.

The chemical plant must pay more than $20,000 in fines or legally contest the agency's decision. 

Two investigations into a Sept. 7 explosion that released a cloud of hydrochloric acid into the air still loom over the company. The deadline for those citations is next week. 

Wacker was cited for "not developing and implementing safe work practices to provide for the control of hazards during operations," the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration citation reads. 

The company was also cited for not having a full body chemical protective suit that could have prevented harm to employees.

TOSHA investigates incidents that impact employee safety. 

"TOSHA investigates allegations of imminent danger, workplace fatalities, injuries resulting in hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye, employee complaints, referrals, and programmed inspections in high hazard industries," TOSHA spokesman Chris Cannon wrote in an email to the Times Free Press during the investigation.

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