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KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — Federal safety officials have imposed a nearly $20,000 fine against a company over the death of an employee killed in an accident near the Kearney sewage plant.

Seventy-five-year-old William Aschoff, of Niobrara (nigh-oh-BRAR'-ah), died in the Sept. 30 accident. His piece of heavy equipment went into a sandpit full of water, and he drowned.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration says Commercial Construction, of Lincoln, failed to provide lifejackets or work vests for employees working over or around water and didn't have rescue equipment stationed nearby.

OSHA says the company can accept the citations as issued, schedule an informal conference or contest the citations.

A company representative didn't immediately return a call Wednesday from The Associated Press.

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