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Refinery Explosion Could Have Been Worse

download (42)Last month a refinery explosion at an Exxon Mobile refinery rocked neighborhoods located just south of Los Angeles. It was a blast that registered 1.7 on the Richter scale.

The explosion injured four workers at the plant. In spite of Exxon Mobile’s claims that the neighborhoods surrounding the refinery were never in any real danger, investigators believe that the situation could have been far worse.

Vanessa Sutherland, the head of the Chemical Safety Board, said that her agency had been charged with investigating the incident. She says of the accident that it was “a near miss.”

The situation could have been catastrophic because a piece of equipment that weighed some 80,000 pounds was sent flying almost 100 feet by the force of the explosion. Had that piece of equipment landed just a few more additional feet, it could have breached a tank that contained a form of hydrofluoric acid. Hydrofluoric acid is a chemical that when released can send up a cloud of toxic gas. Such a cloud could drift and potentially have caused thousands of injuries and even fatalities.

Sutherland says it is one of the worst chemical hazards because when inhaled it causes respiratory issues that will cause the person to drown in their own fluids.

More than 200,000 people live within 3 miles of the plant. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if the gas is ever released in a worst case scenario, potentially it could kill everyone within that radius.

Exxon Mobile continues to deny any such issues; however, there was a small leak of hydrofluoric acid last month that they claim was no danger to the community.

Federal agencies continue to investigate and further assess potential risks of the plant to the neighboring area.

Living next to industrial plants can be worrisome. If you suspect that you have been hurt by no fault of your own and through the negligence of others, it is possible that you could be eligible for compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and any losses that you may have suffered. When you have an accident or personal injury claim, that’s the time when you need to have an experienced legal team who will fight on your side.

At Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP, we are able to take care of all of your personal injury needs. You pay nothing until you collect. The experience of our lawyers makes us experts in the industry. We are able to answer questions you may have and help you avoid the pitfalls sometimes

No matter the kind of accident suffered, we are here to help you. Call us today for a free consultation and legal analysis.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.