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Chemical leak blamed for Texas plant fatalities

On Dec. 19, authorities reported that a November incident at a Texas plant claiming the lives of four workers occurred after a leak burst in a pesticide processing unit without warning. The Nov. 15 event started at approximately 3:30 a.m., when the leak burst, ultimately exposing the four individuals to hazardous chemicals, reportedly.

According to authorities, a 54-year-old man provided the only eyewitness account following the incident. He stated that he was wearing safety gear when he entered into the pesticide processing unit. This reportedly protected him from the chemical exposure that killed the four employees.

The 54-year-old man reportedly attempted to help the four workers, whom he struggled to locate, but he fell down the stairs after growing dizzy due to exposure. He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. The first call to emergency services occurred approximately 30 minutes after the leak was first reported by workers over the radio. Officials from the regional chemical disaster response network did not arrive at the scene until approximately three hours later, according to authorities.

Workplace accidents that occur in construction sites or in units that are designed to handle hazardous materials, such as the Texas plant, can quickly become deadly if the company does not properly respond to the emergency. If workers suffer a serious injury or illness while on the job, they do by law possess recourse. Workers' compensation protects individuals injured at the workplace against the financial harm that can result from extensive medical bills and missed work days. By filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits, the injured employees may be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: Bakken.com, "New reports outline Texas plant chaos, 4 deaths", Lise Olsen, December 19, 2014

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