Industrial explosions pose a serious risk for workers whose jobs require them to handle or mix volatile chemicals. Occasionally, an explosion will occur in a plant that uses chemicals that are generally regarded as non-volatile and non-explosive. Such an accident occurred in an Illinois plant operated by AB Specialty Silicones factory north of Chicago.
The plant makes various silicone-based ingredients for other products. The blast occurred at night. Nine workers were believed to be in the plant at the time. Three workers were killed in the explosion. Five workers appear to have escaped, and a ninth man is still missing.
No cause for the explosion has been disclosed. Police say they are continuing to search for the ninth worker and to investigate the cause of the blast. The local fire marshal said that the blast was the result of an error or mistake in one of the processes that were being used to make the company's products. The complete investigation may take weeks or even months. Both the injured victims and the deceased workers appear to have been employees of A.B. Specialty Silicones.
As such, work-accident victims can claim workers' compensation benefits from their employer for medical expenses, lost income and both temporary and permanent disability. The families of deceased workers have claims for workers' compensation survivors' benefits. If a work-accident should be determined to have been the result of negligence by a third party, such as the installer of equipment being used to handle the material that exploded, all parties can bring what are called "third-party claims" against any party whose fault contributed to the injuries and deaths. In such cases, the advice of an attorney who concentrates on workers' compensation cases can provide invaluable assistance.