7 Key Steps for People Affected by the Houston Plant Explosion

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7 Key Steps for People Affected by the Houston Plant Explosion

The latest Houston plant explosion that happened on November 8th, 2023, has shocked the city and left many people worried about what happened. The loud blast occurred on FM 1127 in San Jacinto County. So, everything came to a sudden halt, and emergency teams acted fast to keep everyone safe and move them away from harm.

This surprising incident didn’t just influence people nearby; it also got everyone talking about making Houston’s factories safer and how they do things. Keep reading the article to find out how this event affected people and what to do if the accident caused you injuries!

Houston Plant Explosion Overview

A large chemical factory caught fire in Shepherd, Texas, which is around 60 miles away from Houston. The fire started with a small explosion at the Sound Resource Solutions plant and quickly grew larger.

Local news from Fox 26 Houston reported that officials told people in the area to stay inside (originally within a five-mile area, now reduced to one mile). Furthermore, they also closed roads and evacuated one school.

They managed to avoid more closures because of how the wind was blowing. People living nearby are advised to turn off their HVAC systems, and around 400 individuals don’t have electricity at the moment.

Nineteen workers were at the factory when the fire started. Additionally, one person got burned and was taken to a nearby hospital but is in stable condition. Luckily, nobody else got hurt.

Dangerous Chemicals from Houston Plant Explosion 

According to Fox 26 Houston, the Polk County Office of Emergency Management listed various chemicals housed at the plant, such as wood turpentine, phosphoric acid, xylene, diesel fuel, and more.

NBC News also added that some of these chemicals have severe effects, like acute toxicity, carcinogenicity, and reproductive toxicity. They may cause serious eye or skin damage, among other hazards.

What Are the Impacts on People?

In any accident, including a plant explosion, if employees get hurt because of an employer’s mistake, they can ask for compensation for their losses. Typically, the damage comes in three main types, as follows.

1. Economic Damages

This covers definite costs like medical bills, temporary housing, or repairing damaged belongings.

2. Non-Economic Damages 

This type of compensation incorporates intangible things, like the pain someone feels or the emotional strain on their family. It also includes disruptions to family life and social activities.

3. Punitive Damages

These are meant to punish the person or group responsible for the injury due to their negligence. The amount of compensation for punitive damages usually depends on how severe the negligence was.

Why Does Houston Plant Explosion Always Happen?

Broadly speaking, the Houston plant explosion doesn’t only happen on the 8th of November. There were already many explosions before. There are various reasons why explosions or accidents happen at industrial plants in Houston, as explained below.

1. Employee Mistakes

One of the most common reasons for industrial plant accidents is when an employee is not careful or is negligent. This carelessness might not directly cause the accident but can start a chain of events that leads to it.

2. Faulty Equipment

The second cause is the problems with equipment, like broken ventilation systems or storage tanks bursting. Sometimes, even well-working equipment that’s not set up correctly can fail to monitor processes.

3. Improper Handling of Materials

Some industrial processes use dangerous chemicals, like acids and heavy metals. These substances need specific storage conditions to stay safe until they’re used or treated properly. In case of improper handling and storage, it potentially causes harm. 

4. Influence of Weather

Weather conditions, though uncontrollable, can affect industrial plant safety. For instance, Hurricane Harvey caused severe flooding in Texas and highlighted the need to design plants that can withstand heavy rainfall and strong winds.

5. Long-Term Exposure

Industrial accidents don’t always result in immediate explosions. Sometimes, workers are exposed to small amounts of harmful substances over the years, leading to health issues later. This long-term exposure can also affect people living near these plants, even if they haven’t directly touched dangerous materials.

What to Do If You’re Affected by the Houston Plant Explosion?

Suppose you or someone you care about gets hurt, burned, or sadly passes away while working at a chemical plant or refinery when the explosion strikes. Then, it’s important to know you need to act quickly. Here are some things you can do!

1. Going to the Hospital

Even if you feel okay, it’s necessary to visit the emergency room or a doctor you trust immediately after the explosion. Sometimes, injuries caused by chemicals don’t show up right away, and seeking health advice in the hospital early can help document any issues you might have.

2. Choose Your Doctor

Second, you have the right to decide which doctor treats you. Even if your employer suggests a doctor, you can still pick your own for follow-up care. Therefore, it’s important to feel comfortable with your doctor during your recovery.

3. Write Down What Happened

As soon as you can, write down everything you remember about the Houston plant explosion. This includes what happened before, where you were, and if you saw anyone else. Don’t underestimate the small details because it might be helpful later on.

4. Don’t Rely on Your Employer

The fourth stage is not to rely on your employer although they promise to help, the company’s main goal is often to save money. So, be cautious about agreeing to anything or accepting money from them without talking to a legal advisor in these cases.

5. Follow Medical Advice

Always attend your doctor’s appointments and follow their advice. This step is also necessary since it may help you to get your rights later on. If you miss appointments or ignore their instructions, it could weaken your case for getting help and compensation later.

6. Keep Records

Most importantly, always write down any expenses related to your injury, like medical bills or medicine costs. Also, keep a note of any advice or treatments your doctor gives you for your recovery. 

7. Contact a Lawyer

Talk to a lawyer who knows about these types of accidents before agreeing to anything or signing papers from your employer. They can guide you through your options and protect your rights. You may do this step parallelly while treating your health and recovery. The faster, the better. 

Always Protect Yourself from the Houston Plant Explosion!

In light of the risks posed by incidents like the Houston plant explosion, it’s important to prioritize your safety and well-being. Always understand your rights and seek immediate medical attention if affected are key steps. 

By staying cautious and seeking support, you can better protect yourself and your loved ones from the potential aftermath of such incidents. Thus, stay informed to prevent and address any dangers that may arise! 

Additionally, you can seek information and legal advice from an experienced legal representative regarding the case related to this accident that caused you or your loved ones harm.

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