There have been conflicting reports about how many people were injured in a Lake Charles plant explosion on Monday night, with some sources saying five and others reporting six. However, all sources have since agreed that there are two people who are still in the hospital as of this writing. Both injured contractors were transferred to hospitals in Hammond and Lafayette.
The Westlake Chemical explosion in Lake Charles still has no reported cause. What we know so far is that the facility was undergoing turnaround maintenance at the time, which typically increases the likelihood of an accident occurring. We also know that Westlake Chemical facilities recently endured Hurricane Ida, one of the strongest storms in U.S. history—although they report the facilities were largely undamaged.
We also know that the chemical explosion involved ethylene, the most widely produced organic compound in the world. It’s highly volatile and flammable, making it particularly dangerous when a plant shuts down and doesn’t properly ventilate pockets where chemical vapor can collect. Exposure to ethylene can cause confusion, unconsciousness, and fatal injuries, as well as ignite an explosion.
At Least One Worker Suffering from Burn Injuries
One of the first details we learned about the injured workers was that at least one of them was severely burned. They reportedly had burns over 50% of their body, which is what we call a catastrophic burn. Burns of this severity are life-changing, often subjecting survivors to disfigurement and scarring, lower quality of life, chronic pain, mobility problems, and potentially millions in long-term medical costs.
There’s not much we know about this accident, but we know this: accidents like this are caused by poor policy. The company or manufacturer responsible for keeping those contractors safe failed in their duty, and it’s only right that they cover the long-term costs they’ve inflicted on those who were injured.
If you have questions about your rights following a plant explosion, discuss your options in a free consultation. Call (888) 493-1629 or contact us online today.