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GM chemical plant explosion sends 8 to hospital, kills 1

Factory workers in Texas may have heard about a chemical explosion at a General Motors metal-stamping facility in Indiana. The factory accident happened at the Marion Metal Center in Fort Wayne shortly before 2 p.m. on July 1. The facility makes stampings, sheet-metal assemblies and blanks that are distributed to GM assembly plants across the country.

According to local authorities, eight people were taken to the hospital after the explosion, and one person died. In a statement, a GM representative said that the workers were evacuated after the explosion, and emergency crews arrived quickly. The worker who died, he noted, was an employee for a company under contract with GM. The representative also said that four of the hospitalized workers suffered non-life-threatening injuries while the others ultimately did not need treatment. They were all released from the hospital by the end of the day.

Later, the CEO of Quaker Chemical Corp. confirmed that the deceased worker was its employee. The Pennsylvania-based company makes special chemicals and provides the Marion Metal Center with inventory management and other services under a contract.

If this accident had happened in Texas, the injured workers may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. State laws do not make it mandatory for companies to provide insurance coverage for workers, but people who are injured on the job have the right to file claims if they believe that their cases are genuine and their employers refuse to compensate them.

Injured workers who are compensated may receive medical benefits and income benefits. Medical benefits are intended to pay for medical care that is essential to the treatment of their injuries. Income benefits are intended to replace part of the wages that injured workers lose as a direct result of their injuries.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance, 'Workers' Compensation Income and Medical Benefits"

Source: Bloomberg, "One Worker Dies, Eight Injured After Blast at GM Plant", Tim Grant, July 01, 2014

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