Plant Explosions Continue to Take Deadly Toll in 2017
Plant and Refinery workers in Louisiana and throughout the United States continued to be seriously injured and killed as a result of plant explosions and other industrial accidents during the first half of 2017.
Louisiana Explosions Claim Four Lives
Louisiana has seen three serious incidents in just the past nine months. On February 8th, a plant explosion at the Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) facility in DeRidder took the lives of three workers and injured seven. The blast occurred while contractors performed welding on a tank during a facility shut down. Several of those injured in the PCA plant explosion sustained chemical burns after coming into contact with turpentine.
Just one day later, a pipeline explosion and fire at the Phillips 66 Station in Paradis, Louisiana killed one worker and severely injured two others. The Paradis pipeline explosion occurred while workers were cleaning a section of the pipeline, and produced a blowtorch-like fire rising 40 feet in the air. One of the injured was transferred to a burn unit. The body of the deceased worker was not recovered until February 13th.
Our Plant Explosion Lawyers were recently hired by one of the two workers who were severely injured during the Phillips 66 explosion in Paradise. The lawsuit is currently pending in Harris County District Court.
Click here to read Ryan Zehl’s interview with the Houma Times regarding the Paradis explosion.
Deadly Plant Explosions Reported in Missouri, Wisconsin & Florida
On April 3rd, a massive steam explosion at the Loy Lang Box Company in St. Louis, Missouri killed one worker and three members of the public. The blast caused a 2,000 LB steel vessel to launch into the air and fly several hundred feet before landing on a nearby company.
One of the year’s deadliest plant explosions took five lives at a Didion Milling Company facility in Cambria, Wisconsin. Eleven employees were taken to area hospitals. While the cause of the May 31st Wisconsin plant explosion is still to be determined, records from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) indicate that the facility was cited in 2011 for failing to take adequate precautions against dust explosions.
On June 29th, the Big Bend Power Station explosion in Apollo Beach, Florida killed four people and injured several contractors. Workers at the coal-powered facility were attempting to unclog a tank containing molten slag. The slag – which can reach temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees – surged from the tank, falling on those below.
A plant explosion at the same location on June 26, 1997, nearly 10 years earlier, severely burned and injured workers several Big Bend workers. OSHA was also investigating the plant in connection with safety hazards discovered in May 2017, just weeks before this latest explosion.
Workers Injured in Refinery Accidents
The Paradis, Louisiana pipeline explosion wasn’t the only industrial accident this year involving Phillips 66. On February 10th, an acid leak at the Phillips 66 Ferndale refinery near Bellingham, Washington, sent seven workers to the hospital. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has since fined Phillips $6,300 each for six “serious” violations, including a failure to “implement safe work practices for the control of hazards for the employees”.
On February 18th, 36 firefighters responded to a fire at the former ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, California. The incident occurred on the two-year anniversary of a massive refinery explosion that injured four workers at the same facility in February 2015. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued 19 citations related to the Exxon Torrance refinery explosion and fined ExxonMobil more than $556,000.
In May, OSHA fined ExxonMobil $165,000 related to a Baton Rouge refinery explosion that critically injured four workers last November.
Injured in a Plant or Refinery Explosion? Contact the Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers at Zehl & Associates for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636
In just the past five years, our Undefeated Plant and Refinery Explosion Lawyers have recovered more than $1 Billion for workplace accident victims throughout the U.S.
Our firm has successfully represented over 250 explosion victims, including workers injured in the:
- BP Texas City Refinery Explosion
- Williams Gibson Pipeline Explosion
- Williams Olefins refinery explosion
- Imperial Sugar Explosion
- International Paper Explosion