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Elliot Olsen is a nationally respected explosion lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member were injured in the Lockwood explosion or Buena Vista explosion, you might have cause to file an explosion lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
Explosions occur weekly, if not daily, in the United States.
They’re simply – and unfortunately – unavoidable. Set a Google alert for the word “explosion,” and watch as your inbox is inundated with updates.
Here is a look at two explosions from the past few days:
badly burns 2 men
From the Billings Gazette: An explosion and fire Thursday that hospitalized two workers at an industrial facility in Lockwood, Montana, was caused when a gas-powered engine ignited a cloud of gasoline vapor from a tanker they were cleaning, according to officials.
The Polar Service Center employees are recovering with non-life-threatening injuries at the University of Utah Health Care Burn Center in Salt Lake City, according to family members.
Polar – a Houston, Texas-based company with 28 locations across the country – has been cited for numerous safety violations and dangerous situations, including at the Lockwood location. The company’s facilities clean, maintain and sell industrial tank trailers and trucks.
Video from inside the warehouse where the employees were working shows one man standing on the open diesel tanker while the other stood on the ground nearby, Lockwood Fire Chief John Staley said. “You can actually see the vapor from the gas … the vapors just ignite, and we had kind of an initial explosion at ground level and then a larger explosion almost simultaneously” near the tank’s opening, Staley said.
The worker on top of the tank trailer, Josiah Coulimore, 23, was strapped into a safety harness, and both Staley and Coulimore’s wife, Danielle, said it apparently prevented him from being thrown from the trailer. Staley, however, said the video shows that Coulimore was unable to unbuckle himself from the harness as the fire broke out.
“It was fortunate that it pushed him to the back of the trailer, because the flames were off to the sides,” Staley said. “It didn’t stop him from getting burned, but my guess is that it stopped him from getting burned more significantly.”
Danielle Coulimore said her husband suffered second- and third-degree burns on one of his hands, and had second-degree burns on the other. His elbows and the tips of his ears were also burned, either during the explosion or the fire. The hair on the back of his head was also singed, she said.
She said her husband called her as soon as he had escaped from the fire, but because he was being rushed into an ambulance, he only had time to tell her there had been a fire and he was going to the hospital. “I was wondering whether I was going to find a husband with missing limbs,” she said, recalling her drive to the hospital. “I didn’t know what I was going to find when I got there. I was just glad he was alive, obviously.”
Skin grafts possible
Coulimore’s co-worker, Jarred Berns, 41, of Billings, suffered third-degree burns on one of his hands and partway up his arm, and he might need skin grafts, according to his mother, LuAnn Barman. He also has second-degree burns on his other hand, his face and his neck, causing substantial swelling and making it difficult for him to talk or eat food. Berns’ back was also burned.
“He remembers all of it,” Barman said. “We thank God that they both survived … Jarred said he just keeps reliving it. He shuts his eyes (and) he can just relive it.”
The force of the explosion was substantial. The tank, which Staley estimated had a capacity of 4,000 to 5,000 gallons, could be seen lifting more than a foot into the air, he said, and added that the video also showed Coulimore being pushed back “6 to 10 feet” from where he had been standing on top of the tank.
Virginia explosion death toll
at 3; 4 people hospitalized
From Fox News: The death toll after a fatal explosion at a Virginia gas station has risen as police on Saturday recovered a total of three bodies.
The Virginia State Police confirmed that the remains of three individuals were unearthed from the debris left behind at the South River Market & Gas Station in Buena Vista after a fatal explosion and fire Friday morning injured several more.
According to police, the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office and Fire-Rescue and Emergency Management responded to reports of an explosion at the gas station at around 9:30 a.m.
Four unidentified adults were transported to the Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington City for treatment. Their immediate condition was unknown.
The initial investigation had the death toll at two, but as the investigation carried into Saturday, authorities recovered the remains of a third individual.
The remains were taken to the medical examiner in Roanoke, where an autopsy will be conducted. A positive identification could take several days, police said.
State police said that while the investigation is ongoing, “the incident does not appear suspicious in nature.”
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed in fires and explosions. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: