Louisiana chemical plant explosion claims second worker’s life

Another worker has died from burns suffered in the blast that occurred Thursday, June 13, 2013, at the Williams Olefins plant in Geismar, Louisiana. According to the Louisiana State Police, the 47-year-old worker died at a hospital in Baton Rouge where six others are still recovering. The other fatality occurred the day of the blast and was employed by the plant last October.

In total, there were three plant employees and 100 contractors injured. There were over 830 people at the plant when the explosion occurred. That is more than usual because the plant is currently under expansion.

The Williams Olefins plant produces 90 million pounds of propylene and 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene each year. The explosion sent authorities scurrying to keep residents near the plant inside until they could determine if there were toxic fumes in the area. The air quality around the plant is being monitored to be sure there are no hazards to anyone who lives near the plant. Investigators have not been able to get inside the plant to begin their investigation as to the cause of the explosion. According to the plant manager, the state police will be allowed in once the last of the “residual hydrocarbons” are gone.

There are about two dozen employees in the control room of the plant, who continually monitor the situation. Company officials said the plant is shut down at this time.

The family of the two men who died could file a wrongful death suit against the plant and its owners. Those who were injured may have claims for such damages as pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, current and future medical care, as well as claims. An experienced Louisiana wrongful death attorney can explain how a civil claim for wrongful death or personal injury would proceed, as well as who the defendants would be and what damages may be sought.

Source:  cnn.com, “2nd man dies after Louisiana chemical plant explosion” Nick Valencia, Jun. 14, 2013

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