Two South Carolina Workers Burned in Tank Explosion

Some of the most dangerous jobs involve using, storing or transporting potentially combustible or hazardous materials. Individuals who are involved in the transport and storage of gasoline can face significant risks of injury or wrongful death. In a tragic accident earlier this month, two South Carolina workers suffered extreme burns after an explosion at a Mobil gas station. The case raises critical questions about out-of-state injuries, workers’ compensation and worker injury benefits in the event of disability.

Workers’ compensation claims can be complicated and require timely documentation, reporting, and professional medical treatment. Even if you are injured out of state, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you were performing work-related duties at the time of injury. Our Charleston workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in helping injured workers and their families collect rightful financial coverage after an accident. We understand the very devastating circumstances faced by burn victims and will take every necessary step to help with personal and monetary recovery.

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According to reports, two workers from South Carolina were relining an underground storage tank with fiberglass at a Mobil gas station in New Hampshire at the time of the explosion. The men were working underground in an attempt to repair the siding of the storage tank when the explosion occurred. The accident is still under investigation and the cause of the explosion has not been identified.The local fire chief suggested that a light was broken and dropped inside of the tank, igniting the combustible materials.

The workers were aged 24 and 33, respectively, and suffered severe burns, mostly to their lower extremities. Witnesses saw the explosion and then watched as one of the men climbed out from underground and collapsed. After realizing that another worker remained underground, bystanders rescued him from the flames. The victims suffered severe burns to their lower extremities but the full extent of their injuries is unknown.

Any burn injury is severe and could have permanent and lasting effects, including loss of limb, loss of vision or damage to hearing, tissue or organ damage, and scarring. Immediately after a burn injury, it is critical to cover the wounds and seek immediate medical treatment. The workers were transported to a Boston hospital where they were treated for their injuries after the explosion.

The workers were residents of South Carolina, but worked for a Missouri-based company. Workers’ compensation is available to any employee who was injured while in the course of performing work related duties. In this case, the workers and their families can file claims for workers’ compensation as well as claims against any third-parties who could be liable for negligence, including Mobil.

Many burn victims will be unable to return to work. They may suffer permanent disability and require financial support. In the event of a serious accident or work-related injury, victims should contact an experienced advocate to explore their rights and claims. In addition to medical expenses and lost wages that should be covered under workers’ compensation, victims may also have additional opportunities to collect for pain and suffering, long-term care needs, medical devices, and any other personal losses arising out of the accident.

If you or someone you love was injured on the job, contact the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries
Independent Contractor Workers’ Comp and Third-Party Claims, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, May 20, 2013
Misclassification: North Carolina Proposes New Penalties for Employers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation, June 16, 2013

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