TEN WORKERS INJURED IN ILLINOIS FOUNDRY EXPLOSION
Three employees hospitalized with critical injuries
Granite City, IL, May 26, 2013 – A March, 2013 explosion at the American Steel plant in Granite City, Illinois injured ten workers, three of them critically.
The blast at the southwestern Illinois steel castings plant, which produces rail car components and employs roughly 800 people, happened shortly after 8 a.m. According to authorities, the explosion occurred after gas caught fire near a grinder in the plant’s finishing area, although the cause of ignition is not yet known.
All ten injured workers were initially transported to Gateway Regional Medical Center, where seven were treated for smoke inhalation and released, while three critically injured workers were airlifted to other hospitals in Missouri. Two of those workers were admitted to the burn unit at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. According to United Steelworkers officials, at least two of the critically injured workers, in addition to burns, may have suffered broken legs and internal injuries from the blast.
Fire officials received reports from employees at the scene that they suspected that a natural gas leak was the cause of the blast and remained at the plant for about an hour to investigate. United Steel Workers officials also state that a natural gas leak may have caused the explosion, and that the union would be sending an investigator to the plant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also investigating the incident to determine whether the company violated any federal workplace safety regulations.
Workers who have been injured in any industrial accident would be wise to consult a Chicago injury attorney to ensure that their rights are protected, since the situation is often more complex than it may seem at first glance. For instance, regardless of the causes of this explosion, the employees injured in this accident are entitled to workers compensation benefits to cover medical treatment, lost income and other costs associated with their injuries. However, further compensation may be available to these workers if a third party, such as a gas company, is determined to be at least partially at fault for the incident.
Under the state’s workers compensation laws, Illinois workers cannot sue their employers for workplace injuries. They are limited to compensation available through the workers compensation system. However, that protection against personal injury claims does not extend to third parties who have been found liable in the incident. So if a third party is found to share some blame for the explosion, injured workers may have the right to file a personal injury claim against that party in addition to their workers’ compensation claim.
Ankin Law Office, LLC. is dedicated to helping individuals recover just compensation in personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Please contact Ankin Law Office today at (844) 600-0000 for a free initial consultation.