A group of residents in the vicinity of a liquid chemical plant in Georgia recently had to be evacuated after a massive chemical explosion claimed the life of a worker. The evacuation was ordered to protect residents from deadly toxic exposure. At the time of the media report, investigators had not determined the specific cause of the blast.

The tragedy reportedly occurred on a recent Wednesday. Apparently, one worker was on top of a tank containing a million gallons of sodium hydrosulfide when it exploded. The victim was the 35-year-old assistant manager of the company.

Volunteers from neighboring counties reportedly took part in the battle against the unrelenting flames. The displaced families were accommodated by the Salvation Army, and they were allowed to return to their homes on the following day. It was reported that the typical rotten egg smell of sodium hydrosulfide remains in the air surrounding the scene of the blast. Nevertheless, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared the quality of the air safe, but monitoring air quality will continue until no danger remains.

Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have launched an investigation to determine the precise cause of the blast, and to determine whether the toxic exposure was the result of safety violations. The grieving family members of the Georgia worker who tragically lost his life will likely face many obstacles. In addition to the emotional trauma, the financial impact can be crippling. Fortunately, they will be entitled to pursue financial relief by pursuing a claim for death benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance fund. Typically, end-of-life expenses and an income package for the worker’s surviving dependents are included.

Source: walb.com, “Exact cause of deadly chemical explosion still unknown“, Catherine Patterson, Aug. 21, 2015