Work-related nitrogen leak kills 6, sends 11 others to hospital

Most people in California are likely aware of the potential hazards that they may face in the workplace. Often, employees can be warned and trained about certain issues that could lead to a work-related injury. Unfortunately, some hazards come from unexpected places, making it difficult to prepare for or even to detect them once they do occur. In fact, six people in another state recently died, reportedly as a result of a nitrogen leak.

The incident happened on a day in late January. A spokesperson for the poultry plant where the accident occurred reports that it is believed the incident was caused by a ruptured nitrogen line. Nitrogen is used at these plants as a part of refrigeration systems. The incident is under investigation by multiple agencies.

Liquid nitrogen vaporizes when released into air and is odorless. Unfortunately, it can displace the oxygen in the air when a leak occurs in an enclosed space. In addition to the six deceased victims, 11 other people were transported to the hospital. Three of them were listed in critical condition.

At the time of the reports about the incident, officials were reportedly working to notify the family members of the deceased, and the news will likely come as a shock from which they may never fully recover. The emotional and financial consequences of such a loss can often leave families reeling for years. Meanwhile, those injured may have a long road to recovery, potentially requiring extensive medical interventions. The injured victims and those who lost a loved one in the accident may qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits, which will leave them better able to meet their financial responsibilities, and an attorney who is familiar with the process can help them in their pursuit of a fair settlement.

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