Three workers were injured in a Jan. 17 gas tanker explosion in East Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, TribLive reported. The workers were sent to a Pittsburgh hospital, where one of them was treated for critical burns. East Huntingdon Fire Chief Brian Kite said it would likely take several weeks to determine the cause of the explosion. In addition to local investigators and officials from Grammer Industries, federal officials from two agencies will assist in the investigation.
The explosion happened at 4:20 p.m. When firefighters first arrived at the scene, they summoned more units to provide water because of a lack of hydrants in the area. At one point there were more than 100 firefighters on the scene. The ceiling of the building the tanker was in collapsed, and another explosion caused the firefighters to pull back as aerial units sprayed water on the tankers to avoid another explosion. Firefighters remained onsite until midnight, and the area continued smoldering into the next day.
Jorg Kaltenegger, a federal investigator for the Department of Transportation, reported that the injured workers were performing maintenance on the tanker at the time of the explosion. According to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management incident report, the tanker was used for hauling butane gas. Since the tanker was stationary and the explosion happened on a work site, the Occupational Safety and Hazards Administration (OSHA) will take the lead in the investigation.
Work-related incidents happen all the time, and if you don’t know your rights, an unscrupulous employer may get away with paying you less than what you are entitled to by law. State laws require most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, which should cover medical bills related to workplace injuries, as well as temporary disability payments if the employee misses work.
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