Silo Explosion Kills 6 and Injures 2

Over the weekend there was an explosion at a grain silo in the midwest that killed six people and seriously injured 2.

Workplace explosions can happen anywhere, and unfortunately there have been a rash of explosions in the Pittsburgh area at industrial work sites. Our firm is currently involved in handling wrongful death or personal injury burn cases arising out of two separate explosions that happened at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke works. The first explosion occurred in September 2009. and it led to the death of a young Pittsburgh man. The second explosion occurred ten months later in July 2010 and led to serious burns in several workmen.

Industrial explosions can happen for a variety of reasons such as gas leaks, mishandling of chemicals, etc. Investigators often talk about the “explosion triangle,” which teaches that you need three essential things for an explosion: a fuel source, a combustible mixture of oxygen, and an ignition source.

There are several OSHA regulations and process safety standards which are designed to prevent explosions in the work force, but companies sometimes take shortcuts and that can lead to problems.

We have handled a variety of fire and explosion cases over the years, and they all present unique challenges in determining cause and origin of the fire or explosion.

No doubt investigators from OSHA or the U.S. Chemical Safety Board have already been on the scene of the explosion in Iowa at the grain silo. They will try to determine the cause of the event and also find out whether certain safety standards were violated.

Families of workers injured by fire or explosion often have rights to file wrongful death claims or personal injury claims for serious burns.