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California gas plant workers eye Florida explosion

Californians who work at gas plants may be following reports of a Florida gas plant explosion and wondering if it could happen in the Golden State. The July 29 explosions at a Blue Rhino plant at Tavares could be seen and felt as far as four miles away.

A series of explosions rocked the propane gas plant, beginning about 11:25 p.m. EDT. Several injuries were confirmed, though information as to the type and severity was not immediately available. Additionally, nearly a dozen of the plant workers could not be immediately accounted for, according to Tavares city officials. Tavares is located about an hour north of Orlando.

The cause of the explosions was not known, but they reportedly started inside the plant and blew a roof off the Blue Rhino facility. One employee said the force of the explosion blew him over and affected his eyesight.

California has gas plants located throughout the state. Should explosions occur at any of them, workers who are injured may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may include payment of medical expenses and lost wages. Depending on the severity of the workplace injury, they may also be eligible for rehabilitation and vocational training as well as death benefits should they die. If their injuries prevent them from returning to work, they may also be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Many workers' compensation claims are handled routinely, but occasionally problems arise in the process. When this happens, a workers compensation lawyer may be able to step in to protect the injured worker's rights and see they get the benefits they're entitled to, not only from the state, but also from Social Security if the worker is permanently disabled.

Source: CBS News, "Several large explosions reported at Florida gas plant", July 30, 2013

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