A recent industrial accident in California claimed the life of a worker and also affected members of the public. The California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating this man's death, as is typically done after fatal workplace accidents. It was reported that the worker who died was a 44-year-old equipment operator.
An incident report states that the worker was operating a machine in the vicinity of a road in Bakersfield when he unintentionally caused a gas line to rupture. The punctured 36-inch line caused an explosion that shook nearby buildings and shot a fireball 200 feet into the air. The worker suffered fatal injuries, including burns and blunt force trauma.
Additionally, the explosion also caused injuries to the residents of a home in the vicinity. Two women reportedly received treatment for second and third-degree burns at a community hospital. The women reported that a baby that was only 3 weeks old was also in the house at the time, but they protected him by using a jacket to wrap around him. The fire apparently burned for approximately 30 minutes and destroyed some vegetation and a barn.
It was reported that the gas in the area was shut off by PG&E within four minutes. Sadly, the worker's family will now have to adjust to life without him. Typically, financial assistance may be obtained through the California workers' compensation insurance system. Surviving family members of those who lost their lives in workplace accidents may pursue claims for death benefits that typically include funds to assist with settling funeral and burial expenses along with a financial package for covered dependents that is based on the deceased workers' prior income level.
Source: kerngoldenempire.com, "Man killed in Friday's gas line rupture identified", Mateo Melero, Claudia Rodriguez, Nov. 18, 2015