According to Jim Marston, the founding director of the Environmental Defense Fund, the state of Texas leads the U.S. in fatal industrial accidents. This has been illustrated by several large-scale incidents, including the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, on April 17, 2013. Marston compiled his information from data that was supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sadly, when a major catastrophe such as a chemical plant accident occurs, it can be difficult for people who are injured to receive proper compensation for their medical expenses. Fortunately, a skilled industrial accident attorney can make the entire process much easier. Why does Texas Experience so Many Industrial Accidents? There are several reasons that Texas tops the industrial accident list. Marston points the finger at state regulations because he believes that policy changes could have prevented the explosion that happened in West. Regardless of whether or not Marston is right, there are additional factors that make it easy for Texas to be more dangerous than other states. For example, Texas has the largest number of oil refineries in the country, and this naturally increases the odds of an incident occurring. In fact, there were two major BP refinery accidents that happened less than eight months apart in 2004 and 2005, and 16 people were killed. Timeline of the Worst Fatal Industrial Accidents in Texas History
- More than 5,000 people were injured and 576 people died in 1947 when two ships containing fertilizer blew up on two consecutive days in Texas City. This is still the worst industrial accident in U.S. history, and it truly showcases how quickly lives can be lost or forever altered.
- An explosion in 1976 at the Goodpasture Inc. grain elevator killed nine workers.
- 1977 saw another grain elevator explosion. This time, the elevator was owned by the Farmer’s Export Company, and 18 people lost their lives.
- In 1989, a plastic plant owned by the Phillips Petroleum Company lost 23 employees during an explosion, and an additional 130 people were injured.
- The Arco Chemical Company Plant in Channelview experienced an explosion in 1990 that killed 17 people.
- The Phillips Petroleum Company in Pasadena had a second deadly incident on March 29, 2000. This explosion claimed one life and injured 71 others.
- BP lost two employees in 2004 at an oil refinery in Texas City due to severe burns caused by superheated water.
- In 2005, the BP refinery in Texas City dealt with negative headlines again. This time, an explosion killed 14 employees and injured more than 100 plant employees and local residents.
- The most recent catastrophic industrial accident in Texas took place at the West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas. More than 150 people were injured, and 14 people died as the result of a massive explosion.
Dealing with an Industrial Accident If you are injured in an industrial accident, it is important to seek legal representation immediately. After all, the company that is responsible for the incident is going to do their best to mitigate their financial damages, and you do not want to be stuck paying for your medical bills. It is important to make sure that you hire an attorney who has experience with your specific type of case. For example, if you are injured as the result of a petrochemical plant accident, you should select a refinery accident attorney. After all, a lawyer who has already dealt with similar cases will have a firm understanding of all of the applicable laws, and this can help you receive the compensation you deserve. An attorney who specializes in industrial accidents can also help you if you lose a loved one due to a plant explosion or other similar incident. Therefore, whether you were injured or are dealing with the death of a spouse or family member, it is always a good idea to contact an attorney immediately in order to protect your legal rights.