At around 1:25 pm, Monday, reports began to come in from viewers who reported hearing a loud “boom” around the Lake Charles area, according to local news station KPLC. Sasol issued a statement on Tuesday that their US chemical plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana reported an explosion and fire in its LCCP low-density polyethylene unit. No injuries or fatalities were reported, and Sasol stated that no other units were affected by the explosion and continued operating as normal. As of midday Monday, the fire was already extinguished, and all employees and contractors were at least initially unharmed and accounted for. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
The explosion occurs among much controversy in the plant. Cost overruns and allegations of project mismanagement last year led to joint CEOs Bongani Nqwababa and Stephen Cornell to both forcefully resign from their jobs. An independent investigation found that the Lake Charles Chemical Project’s management team was guilty of inappropriate conduct and incompetence.
A Statistical View of Industrial Fires and Explosions
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that between the years of 2007-2011, there were a total of 498,500 fires reported per year. Another report by the NFPA revealed that close to 9,000 fires in or outside of manufacturing/processing facilities were averaged annually between the years of 2013-2017. In that same report, it was averaged that at least 5 deaths and over 200 injuries with close to $550 million in property loss per year were a result of these kinds of fires. And in 2018 alone, the NFPA has reported twenty-nine catastrophic multiple-death fires that resulted in 214 deaths. In 2018-2019, OSHA reported that at least 43 fatalities were reported in assorted workplace explosions.
These statistics, however, do not account for the untold environmental costs and impacts that explosions and fires releasing hazardous chemicals into the air produces. Nor does this account for the long-reaching impact that the fumes may cause nearby residential communities.
Types of Compensation Available to Industrial Accident Victims in Texas
In negligence-based cases, individuals can recover compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Prescription costs;
- Loss of income;
- Loss of future earning capacity;
- Personal property damage;
- Physical impairment;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Loss of companionship and society;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Other out-of-pocket expenses and non-financial losses.
Catastrophic injuries or burn injuries can be financially and personally devastating. Individuals should seek the help of an experienced attorney when seeking to recover losses as a result of an explosion and/or fire.
Contact an Experienced Plant Explosion Lawyer if You Are Injured by an Explosion
Our top-rated Lake Charles chemical plant explosion lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP have experience investigating negligent companies and the causes of incidents such as the Sasol Lake Charles Chemical Plant Explosion.
If you or a loved one was hurt in connection with the Sasol Lake Charles Chemical Plant Explosion or in any other type of explosion accident such as offshore oil rig explosion, call us for a free, confidential consultation at 800-489-2216. Experienced lawyers can help you navigate extensive investigations, explain how the legal process works, and protect and preserve your rights to recovery for injuries sustained on the job or otherwise.
Injured people deserve compensation from negligent companies. Safety should always be the primary concern when operating with hazardous materials and dangerous equipment, and the common thread in most every explosion is a mistake or sacrifice of safety procedure.
You do not have to fight for compensation alone. Contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP to guide you in the right direction.