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Explosion at fertilizer plant injures many, kills 12

Workplaces accidents can happen at virtually any workplace, at any time, including the state of North Carolina. The size and number of workers injured depend on a variety of situations including the type of workplace. Last week an industrial accident that made news across the county occurred in another state. The incident resulted in at least 12 deaths. In addition, more than 200 individuals were injured in the incident.

The industrial accident occurred at a fertilizer plant when something happened to cause an explosion. The explosion affected not only the plant, but the surrounding area as well. Some residents of the town in which the plant is located lost their homes. Schools and a nursing home were also damaged in the incident.

The business where the explosion occurred provided farming supplies to residents of the area. Among other things, the facility blends fertilizer. Accordingly, it housed a large amount of ammonium nitrate. At the time of the explosion there was approximately 270 tons of the product on-site. Ammonium nitrate is extremely flammable when vapors from the liquid are exposed to air. Currently it is unknown what caused the explosion to occur.

The nature and extent of the injuries suffered in the explosion are not known. It is also not clear how many of the injured individuals were employed by the business. If any of the people who were hurt in the incident were employed by the business, it is possible that they may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.

As is commonly the case in industrial accidents such as this one, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will almost certainly conduct an investigation into the blast to determine what exactly happened.

Source: Reuters, "Investigators seek cause of Texas blast that killed at least 12," Carey Gillam and Corrie MacLaggan, April 19, 2013

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