Three people are dead and four in critical condition after a deadly factory explosion launched a boiler into a nearby laundering business in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis on Monday morning.
A blast at Loy-Lange Box Co. shot debris toward Faultless Healthcare Linen and a third company, killing two Faultless employees. A Loy-Lange employee was also killed in the explosion. The Faultless employees were new hires taking part of the morning to fill out paperwork. Shortly after they began, an explosion at Loy-Lange sent a boiler flying nearly 500 feet before crashing into the Faultless office, killing two and trapping another underneath.
“I open the door and we seen dust flying,” Rocky Pruneau, an employee of a nearby body shop, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Stuff flying everywhere is all we saw.”
The boiler weighed a ton or more, according to St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.
Since 2014, the Loy-Lange Box Co. received three separate OSHA citations. Violations included failing to adequately train employees in or conduct inspections of the company’s energy control procedure. Later violations included operating a defective forklift and allowing their floor to develop holes and aisles to fall into disarray.
‘Past OSHA History Does Indicate Several Serious Safety Violations’
Despite its apparently negligent past, Loy-Lange immediately addressed every violation OSHA found.
“The company did come into compliance once these issues were addressed with them and paid the penalties once OSHA identified them to the company,” OSHA spokesman Scott Allen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
There’s no determination yet that the boiler explosion at Loy-Lange Box Co. was caused by negligence, but businesses fail to meet safety standards every day, and their actions endanger the workplace.
Workplace negligence can mean serious consequences for employees, ranging from terrible injuries like burns and broken bones to death in the most serious of accidents. In Missouri, you can sue the responsible parties for damages related to the injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
Several parties might be negligent, including the owner and operator of the business, who possibly failed to take safety standards into account. The manufacturer can also be held negligent and subsequently responsible for providing a poorly designed or built product.
OSHA and Missouri Division of Fire Safety investigators are on-site, working to determine the cause of the explosion. “We hope to determine what may have caused it so we can prevent it in the future,” Allen said.
(Editor’s Note: This is a news story from the ‘Morgan Monitor,’ a news wire offering legal perspectives on news in your community.)
(Note: The feature photo does not represent the actual event discussed in this piece.)