A massive explosion and fire at a propane tank plant in Florida injured eight workers, four of whom critically and sent 200-foot fireballs rocketing through the night on July 30. It is unclear what triggered the blast, whether it was equipment failure or human error, but the fire burned for hours, as thousands of the 53,000 20-lb propane tanks that were at the plant caught fire and burned.
News reports describe workers in shock with “skin hanging off their arms, torso and faces.” By Tuesday morning, smoke was still coming from the plant, but fortunately three large, 33,000 lb propane tanks had not caught fire.
One worker rescued a forklift driver who had been burned and from what the man told him, he believed the accident appeared to have been caused by “combination of human error and bad practices.”
The safety system for the large propane tanks was never activated, because it had to be manually turned on from near the tanks and once the fire and explosions began, it was unsafe to get anywhere near those tanks. The town’s mayor was concerned and commented this should be made “fail safe.”
Workers injured by this industrial accident will need to file claims with the workers’ compensation insurance in the state, and may face a long recovery, as burn injuries can be some of the most dangerous and difficult from which to recover.
Workers injured in these types of industrial accidents should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to assist with their claims and ensure they obtain the insurance benefits they need while they recover from their injuries.
Source: The Associated Press, “Massive explosions rock Blue Rhino gas plant in Florida,” Mike Schneider, July 30, 2013