Lebanon is roughly 7,000 miles away from Texas, but the recent explosion in that country’s capital, Beirut, brought back echoes of similar incidents in this state’s past. The explosion that leveled part of Beirut, killing more than 100 people and injuring about 5,000, was caused by improperly stored stockpiles of ammonium nitrate. The chemical is commonly used in the production of fertilizer, among other things. The only problem is that it’s also highly explosive. When not carefully stored, explosions can happen.
In 2013, the same chemicals caused a similar explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in Texas. A small rural town, West was partially leveled by the resulting shock waves. Homes within a five-block radius of the blast were flattened, and numerous people — including elderly nursing home residents, firefighters and first responders — were killed.
It’s important to understand that while the 2013 explosion was remarkable in its size, these kinds of blasts aren’t uncommon. There have been six chemical explosions in the Houston area since March of 2019.
Experts say that there are failures in the regulations that control how and where these chemicals are stored and that oversight is lacking. The situation has worsened since the current federal administration has loosened regulations in the Chemical Disaster Rule meant to protect people from these problems.
Explosions from improperly stored chemicals can leave workers, residents and people just passing by with catastrophic injuries that may never fully heal. If you’re injured in a blast or a loved one is killed, find out more about your right to compensation for your losses.
At the Wyatt Law Firm, our attorneys have been helping injury victims assert their rights and obtain the maximum damages possible for decades. If you’ve been injured, make sure that you have an experienced attorney on your side.