A workplace explosion and subsequent fire that injured at least eleven people was likely caused by an excess buildup of dust in a metal polishing factory in Southern California on Tuesday morning. According to officials at the scene of the accident, at least two men were critically injured from burns as a result of the fire.
The accident is said to have happened just before 10 a.m. in La Habra, a suburb of Los Angeles, when overhead ductwork exploded. Reports say that it took at least fifty firefighters more than a half hour to extinguish the flames.
The company Gorilla's Polishing Corporation, a subsidiary of Gorilla's Chrome Incorporated, is a metal plating and polishing business that works mostly on car wheels. A nearby company's operations manager told reporters that he could feel the explosion when it happened. It "felt like a bomb going off," the man said. Shortly after the explosion, the man ran out and saw several Gorilla's employees evacuating the building with blackened faces and body parts.
As of now, there are at least eleven people hurt. According to the L.A. County Fire Department Inspector, the two badly burned men were taken to a local hospital and are currently listed in critical condition with 3rd degree burns to over at least 90% of their bodies. Most of the other injuries were said to be caused by smoke inhalation.
Upon first review of the explosion, experts believe that an excess of lint and dust that built up in the ductwork was likely the cause of the accident. An injured employee at the factory told reporters that he and his coworkers were polishing metal tire rims when the explosion occurred.
When accidents such as this one happen, victims and their families must search for a quality workers' compensation attorney to represent them against factory insurance companies and their corporate lawyers. If you have been injured in an accident at work, or you are the family member of someone who was lost due to a workplace accident, then please call the workers' compensation advocates at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. at 800-777-4081 for a free preliminary consultation.
WKBN, "11 hurt in explosion at Los Angeles-area building" 29 April 2014