An explosion at VT Halter Marine shipyard killed two workers and injured four others. Alex Caballero of Pascagoula,MS and Dwight Monroe of Moss Point, MS were killed in the accident. The deadly explosion happened in the hull of a tugboat where a tank was in the process of being cleaned in order to be painted. One of the injured was taken to the USB burn center and another was airlifted to Mobile in critical condition.
Explosions need to have some type of explosive material and an ignition source. Sometimes toluene, which is highly flammable, is contained in the cleaning fluids that are used to clean these surfaces to prepare for painting. The fumes from toluene can ignite from up to 8 feet away from the liquid. Careful inspection of the tank is required to discover any unsafe areas which may cause an explosion. Adequate ventilation is also required in case there is a build up of any unsafe fumes. If fumes build up in the tank, it is like a time bomb waiting to go off. Any spark from any source, even a light switch, can ignite the fumes.
My law firm just handled a case similar to this one which involved an explosion of a tank killing three workers and injuring another. The tank that exploded contained a small amount of oil which produced fumes that ignited when the welder lit his torch to weld on an adjacent tank. The fumes from the one tank ignited even though that was not the tank that was being welded on. The National Chemical Safety Board investigated the accident and found that both the owner of the premises and the contractor were at fault for not cleaning and/or inspecting the adjacent tank before allowing anyone to weld in the area. We concluded a multi-million dollar settlement for the families after properly working up the case for trial. IF you would like to see the video of the incident click here.
If the employer or maker of the product knew that there was a potential for an explosion yet chose to do nothing about it, then there may be a claim for punitive damages.
Call me for a free copy of the lawsuit that I filed in this case for your review.
If you know of someone who was injured or killed in an explosion and have some questions, call Paul Snow now to discuss your legal rights. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone who has any questions. Call 601-969-1977 or 1-800-640-4478 or contact us online. We represent clients all over Mississippi including Jackson County, Pascagoula, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Gulfport, Biloxi, Escatawpa, Jackson, and Mobile, AL.
Information provided by Mississippi Accident Lawyer Paul Snow.