State and federal investigators are still trying to piece together why a Blue Rhino propane depot in Lake County went up in flames in Tavares — an incident that left nine injured and resulted in the evacuation of nearby residents as propane tanks used for barbecues exploded and landed up to half a mile away.
Altogether eight employees were injured in the conflagration and the blasts that ensued. The Orlando Sentinel reports that five of the injured workers were listed in critical condition and were rushed to hospitals in Orlando, Ocala and Gainesville. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an official investigation into the incident.
Company officials said that all workers have been accounted for.
The worker injury attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville are still waiting for definitive answers as to the cause of the workplace tragedy, but investigators on the scene told the press that while they have some theories, they still do not have any solid evidence as to what may have sparked the incident. There has been some speculation that a combination of mechanical failure and human error may have been involved.
Frighteningly, the accident could have been far worse, as employees fleeing the fire and exploding propane tanks failed to manually activate waterlines designed to protect three larger propane tanks from the heat. Local officials say that if one of the larger tanks (each of which hold 30,000 pounds of propane) had exploded, it could have wreaked unimaginable devastation to the surrounding community. The Tavares Fire Chief questioned the wisdom of having a manual system as opposed to an automatic safety system in place to avoid such oversights.
The law firm of Farah & Farah hopes for the speedy recovery of those workers seriously injured in this devastating workplace accident. If you have questions about your legal options and benefits following a workplace injury, contact Farah & Farah at (800) 533-3555. We can also be contacted online to set up a free, no obligation consultation concerning your case.