Ohio Oil and Gas Explosion Raises Questions about Safety in the Industry
According to a news report by the Wheeling Intelligencer, a worker was killed in an oil and gas explosion in Bolivar, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on July 16, 2012. According to the report, the oil and gas worker was killed when the storage tank he was performing maintenance work on exploded. The blast resulted in flames over 50 feet high.
Sadly, this most recent oil and gas explosion has been the third in the Ohio Valley in the past two years. On February 10, 2011, a natural gas pipeline exploded in Hanoverton, Columbia County, Ohio, shooting flames approximately 200 feet into the air. According to reports, the blast could be seen for nearly 40 miles away within a five-county area ranging from Steubenville, Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The pipeline was part of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline network transporting natural gas from the Texas-Louisiana area to the northeastern states. The line was a 3-foot diameter steel pipe. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the Columbia County pipeline explosion.
On June 7, 2010, 7 oil and gas workers were burned and injured in a gas well explosion in Moundsville, Marshall County, West Virginia. The work crew was tripping out the well when methane gas ignited resulting in a massive fire and explosion with flames over 70 feet high. The blast resulted in a total loss to the well pad and burned for nearly 5 days. The Fitzsimmons Law Firm has filed suit on behalf of 4 of the workers burned and injured in the Marshall County oil and gas explosion.
These recent explosions serve as a reminder of the severe risk and dangers encountered on a daily basis by workers in the oil and gas industry. Many of the materials and chemicals used in the drilling process are flammable and/or combustible. Additionally, the substances encountered during drilling are highly explosive including the natural gas itself and methane gas. Despite these increased fire and explosion risks, too often employers or other subcontractors on the well pad negligently create unsafe working conditions or fail to abate unsafe work practices which recklessly expose oil and gas workers to fire and explosion risks. A fire or explosion can result in significant workplace injuries, burns, or possible death.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an oil and gas accident or explosion, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or losses. These are complex cases, however, and you need to contact an experienced law firm that can competently handle these types of claims. The West Virginia Oil and Gas Accident and Explosion Lawyers at the Fitzsimmons Firm have been successfully representing injured workers for over 30 years and have obtained significant results on behalf of workers injured on the job. Contact the Fitzsimmons Law Firm today to set up an appointment to discuss your claim.