BOSTON (AP) — The family of a worker killed in an explosion at a Massachusetts condominium project last year is suing a propane gas distributor and plumbing firm.

The lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court on Tuesday by the family of William Nichols, a 46-year-old electrician, says he died in the Norfolk blast in July because EnergyUSA under-filled a new propane tank.

The lawsuit also alleges Wrentham-based Smolinsky Plumbing and Heating failed to tighten a connection that led to the leak.

State fire investigators have suggested that because the tank was not fully filled, the chemical that gives propane its distinctive “rotten eggs” smell faded over time. Workers at the site said they did not smell a leak.

A message left for Smolinsky Brothers was not immediately returned. An answering service for EnergyUSA said there was no one to comment immediately.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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