t has been recently discovered that the William Olefins chemical plant in Geismar had a propylene leak only six months ago. Propylene is a highly flammable substance which is derived from natural gas. This “visible leak” was seen back in December of 2012 as reported by the Times Picayune. It is believed that a propylene release was responsible for the explosion which took place last Thursday claiming the lives of Zach Green and Scott Thrower, and gravely injuring many other chemical plant employees, contract workers for CB&I, Inc. and others who were building a plant addition and expansion on the site.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has previously levied penalties against the company for previous leaks of propylene, a release of the carcinogenic benzene in 2009, and ethylene and other volatile organic compounds in the year 2010. Thus, it seems this plant has been rife with negligent chemical releases over the past few years.
Currently, it is unknown as to what exactly caused the explosion on June 13, 2013 in Geismar. It could have been a pipe leak, a negligent ignition of a flammable substance like propylene, or otherwise. Yet, any worker or person who was exposed to any flames or chemical release last week should be getting evaluated by a medical professional. If it is shown in the next few weeks, months, or years that a toxic substance like benzene was, in fact, released, any worker exposed to this substance could carry a very high risk for cancer for the rest of their lives.
Our firm is currently being retained by injured workers at the Geismar William Olefins plant. It is important for each person to understand the status of their health and protect their right to make a living. Whether or not you suffered burns, rashes, personal injuries, inhalation problems, scalding, or anything else, please feel free to contact our firm to schedule a free consultation. No one currently knows exactly what happened at the chemical plant in Geismar, but we will surely find out within due time.
- Lawyer LaHatte