Gas Explosion Kills One in La Porte, Texas: Gas Mixing Area Appears to be Location of Fire Origin
Industrial workers in Texas know that their jobs often come with risks. But knowledge that a job is risky doesn’t relieve an employer of a duty to mitigate those risks. Employers are required to follow workplace safety regulations and laws so that workers can perform their tasks as safely as possible. When you or a loved one is injured in an on the job accident, you deserve the full protection of the law.
On Saturday, February 9, an explosion and fire ripped through the Air Liquide Specialty Gas plant in LaPorte, Texas, killing one plant worker and leaving another one seriously injured and hospitalized in critical condition. According to people living near the plant, the loud explosion came at about 7:40 a.m., and heavy smoke was seen streaming from the plant. The blast was so strong, it rattled windows for blocks around.
At the plant, gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and argon are mixed into cylinders that are used to process such items as food, beverages and electronics. Though an investigation is ongoing, the explosion and fire started in the section of the plant where that mixing takes place. Company officials have been monitoring air quality and have assured everyone that there was no danger to the public.
According to Air Liquide, there were 13 employees working at the plant at the time of the explosion; seven inside and six outside. Immediately after the explosion, they noted one had been injured and another was missing. Emergency crews used a fire department canine unit, a hazmat team and heavy equipment to search for the missing man, but the search was difficult, because his body was buried under so much rubble. The missing man’s body was finally recovered, more than 12 hours after the explosion that same evening. The deceased man, a chemist at the plant, was married, and had three young children, ages 3, 5 and 7.
The injured man reportedly suffered burns to more than 75 percent of his body, and was in critical condition and unable to speak for some time. He had worked at the plant for approximately 10 years and that he has two daughters.
Whenever there is a fire or explosion around an industrial facility, especially one that processes potentially dangerous materials, there is always a danger of injuries or loss of life. Employers are required to follow strict safety procedures to ensure that their employees and the general public are safe.
The investigation of this incident is ongoing, but all workers and their families deserve the full protection of their rights under the law. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an industrial accident, call the On the Job Accident Lawyer at Hill Law Firm today.