Some Southern Californians may have heard that an explosion disrupted life in a small town in Washington recently. The blast occurred in Plymouth, a small town near the Washington-Oregon border, at the storage facility of Williams Northwest Pipeline. The plant houses liquefied natural gas. Five workplace injuries were reported and around 400 people who live within 2 miles of the plant were evacuated.
Regulators, both federal and state, as well as the Benton County Sheriff's Department began investigating the plant the day after the event. The blast apparently injured five plant workers. According to a deputy, one worker was receiving treatment at a Portland hospital for burns he suffered on his hands and face. The other four injured workers were given treatment and subsequently released from a hospital in another town.
The cause of the blast had not yet been determined, but the investigators discovered the explosion had caused a rupture to a large tank in which gas was stored. The Sheriff's department also planned to search for any signs indicating possible criminal malfeasance.
An official from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission maintained an explosion like the one the Williams facility experienced was a rare occurrence. He also noted that the facility had been previously called out for violations regarding operations and procedures. However, those violations were resolved.
Thankfully, the injuries from the explosion described above were not life threatening in nature. An incident of this kind could have caused much greater damage or perhaps even resulted in fatalities.
Anyone injured while on the job is entitled to receive workers' compensation to pay for the costs associated with medical care. Unfortunately, sometimes employers do not properly see to a worker's needs. If you have been injured on the job and your employer is not properly expediting the compensation process, a legal team with knowledge of relevant California labor laws may be able to help you acquire the funds to which you are due.
Source: capitalpress.com, "Officials seek clues in natural gas facility blast," Jeff Barnard, April 2, 2014