Air Liquide is an industrial gas facility located in La Porte, Texas. On February 9th, 2013, the facility was the site of an enormous explosion after a chemical reaction caused combustion in the laboratory at the cylinder plant. Air Liquide spokespeople say that the plant mixes gases and chemicals on a regular basis for commercial use. The fire started in the section of the laboratory where much of that mixing takes place.
Officials monitored air quality after the accident to make sure that individuals that lived nearby would not be exposed to toxic fumes, though they did not believe that the risk of this sort of behavior was high. There were at least 15 to 20 people near the explosion when it occurred, but public reports of injured workers were not filed immediately. The researchers tried to determine exactly what caused the explosion as the mess was cleaned up.
After the explosion, locals were issued a "shelter in place" warning which was lifted two hours later. Residents called 911 after they heard the loud booms coming from the Air Liquide headquarters. At the time, locals reported that they thought there had been successive explosions at the gas plant, rather than just one. "Shelter in place" warnings are issued when authorities believe that residents may be at risk to chemical exposure. Instructions for a "shelter in place" warning involve telling residents to stay inside with their doors and windows closed and to turn off their air conditioning until the warning is lifted. In the city of La Porte, smoke wafted in after the explosion and fire.
Air Liquide released a statement after the accident saying that personnel were monitoring the fire at the facility and that the fire was contained shortly after it started. The officials at the company announced that they would do all they could to determine the cause of the incident and remain in contact with the authorities at the scene. The employees near Air Liquide have since resumed working at the facility. Air Liquide mixed industrial cases like nitrogen and hydrogen, and these are later used to create food, beverages, and electronics. For hours after the fire, authorities warned that there were still some "hot spots" at the plant.
One worker at the plant was killed in the explosion. His body was found by search and rescue works the evening of the accident, and his family received work from authorities later that night. He was survived by a wife and three young children. At the same explosion, another plant worker was airlifted to the UTMB Hospital for treatment with severe burn injuries. This individual suffered burns to 75 percent of his body and could not speak at the time of the accident. He had been working at Air Liquide for 10 years. If you have been injured in a chemical explosion or fire, then you need to discuss your situation with an experienced and dedicated lawyer from Arnold & Itkin. With the right attorney on your side, you may be able to evidence that you deserve worker's compensation for the accident.
Working at any sort of industrial, chemical or oil and gas facility can be extremely dangerous. Accidents like this one are frequent in industrial areas because chemical reactions can create a sudden explosion without any warning. According to the National Center for Security & Preparedness in 10 years there were 91 deaths of contract employees because of an explosion or asphyxiation at an industrial plant. This averages about to about nine deaths per year. There were 52 fatal explosions in this study, and 40 of them involved at least one death. If you want more information about chemical plant injuries or if you are looking for an
industrial injury lawyer to represent you in your claim
contact Arnold & Itkin LLP.