Explosions have many causes and occur in a variety of situations, but the results are often the same – injuries and death. A number of stories about explosions have appeared in the news media recently that illustrate both the enormity of the events and their consequences.
A car recently exploded in Jersey City, New Jersey. It appears that the explosion was caused by acetylene refrigeration tanks that a repairman had placed in his car after working on the refrigerators at a liquor store. When the worker started the car, it exploded, injuring him and a nearby pedestrian. According to officials, overheating of the tanks caused the explosion.
Deadly explosions in Louisiana chemical companies have left the plants closed pending investigations. Three workers were killed and another 100 suffered injuries at the plants southeast of Baton Rouge. The incidents occurred just one day apart, on June 13 and June 14. One plant produces ethylene and propylene, which are components of raw materials for common plastics used for such things as bottles, trash can liners and grocery store bags.
The second Louisiana explosion happened in a distillation tower in which a heat exchanger ripped open. There were many hundreds of workers at the plant when the explosion occurred during the shift change. It is unknown how long the OSHA investigations will take – the agency has up to six months to report.
On June 28, OSHA issued 22 violations to a Cincinnati, Ohio, hazardous waste treatment plant. Two employees were severely burned in the December 2012 explosion; one later died. The agency reported that it determined that the explosion and subsequent fire were the result of the ignition of a filter cartridge filled with sodium chloride. The ignition source was determined to be sparks from a saw that employees were using to clean out the filter.
A Manhattan transformer fire caused an explosion that rocked the east side of Manhattan in June. A manhole cover blew off and at least one vehicle was damaged as debris blew across the pavement around East 50th Street and Second Avenue. No one was injured.
As shown by these examples, workplace explosions can injure or kill passersby as well as workers. In either case, those affected should consider consulting a personal injury lawyer to determine whether they might be eligible to receive compensation.
Source: News reports including: