Explosions are a very powerful and harmful event. Although the process of an explosion may be set in motion over many months, the actual blast itself typically occurs with no warning to the victims. When an explosion happens, there are typically two types of harm. The first harm is the initial impact of the explosion. This is typically thought of as the immediate effects on persons and property at or near the explosion site. The second harm occurs because of long-term damage due to exposure to toxic substances and chemicals.
Both the short-term and long-term effects of an explosion can have a devastating impact on local communities and residents. Here we will take a look at some of the catastrophic consequences that we typically see following a blast. If you or a loved one have been affected by any type of explosion, it is always best to speak with a nationwide explosion accident attorney about your rights.
Initial Personal Injuries Caused by Explosions
The most obvious example of an immediate explosion impact is personal injuries. In 2021, there were approximately 860 explosion accidents in the United States. Victims of these incidents stand a high chance of suffering personal injuries in the explosion. The most apparent injuries caused by explosions are:
- Broken Bones
- Traumatic Brain Injuries or TBIs
- Internal Organ Damage
- Lung Injuries
- Loss of Limbs
- Permanent Scarring
All of these injuries are catastrophic in nature. Unfortunately, explosions rarely injure just one or two people. Explosions that occur at manufacturing plants, such as a recent blast at the I. Schumann & Metals Co. Plant southeast of Cleveland, Ohio, resulted in one death and 12 injuries. An explosion can rip through a plant in a matter of milliseconds, injuring or killing dozens of workers in a single community.
In addition to personal injuries, explosions pose a major threat to land and personal property. Structures in the immediate area of the blast are most at risk from the forces and waves of the explosion. As an example, the 2005 BP Oil rig explosion at a refinery in Texas City, Texas, caused billions of dollars in damages. While this is an extreme example of one of the worst explosions in U.S. history, the damage from an explosion can easily reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
Many explosions completely destroy all or part of the facility where the explosion occurred. The cost to rebuild these structures is extensive, in addition to the cost of implementing new safety measures in order to ensure that the cause of the prior explosion is not repeated again.
Long-Term Personal Injuries From Explosions
We looked at some of the short-term personal injuries that result from an explosion above. However, blasts are known to cause injuries that can be long-term or even permanent in nature. Victims who recover from their initial injuries may nonetheless face a lifetime of challenges ahead of them.
Perhaps the most infamous explosion in recent history was the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. In the years since, victims who initially serviced the attack, including numerous first responders, have dealt with the aftermath of inhaling massive amounts of dust and other chemicals and particles.
Over the long term, exposure to the material and gases released in an explosion can cause debilitating ailments, including:
- Lung diseases, such as Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)
- Asthma and breathing difficulties
- Acute bronchitis
- Cancer, including lymphoma and leukemia
- Residual effects of TBIs such as headaches, vertigo, and balance problems
- Mental illnesses, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression
- Physical mobility limitations
Sadly, many of these injuries are dependent upon initial exposure to the blast and there may be very little that can be done to prevent them. Victims of explosion accidents should seek the best medical care available at the soonest possible time in order to help them cope with the very real long-term injuries often seen in an explosion.
The long-term consequences to the environment of a local community must also be considered. An explosion may release numerous toxic chemicals into the air and onto the ground in the surrounding area. After explosive material makes its way to the ground, it can contaminate the soil, leading to unsafe living conditions.
Additionally, toxic material can make its way into a stream or river. This can lead to poisoning an entire local water supply. When these toxic events take place, regulators from federal and government agencies may step in and evacuate an entire population for an extended period of time. Officials will conduct soil and water tests in order to ensure that the surrounding area is safe for human habitation. This can cause massive disruptions, as families can be displaced for many weeks or months. A recent Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, has caused families in the local community to be forced from their homes and live in hotels while regulators determine when or if they can return to their homes.
National Explosion Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been affected by an explosion accident, you should contact an attorney for assistance right away. The short-term and long-term effects of an explosion can be very disruptive and devastating for individuals and collective communities. Explosion litigation is complex and requires a tenacious attorney who will go to bat for you and understands the intricacies of the law.
Here at Burg Simpson, our team of national explosion accident lawyers has particular experience handling these difficult cases. Regardless of where the explosion happened, we can help. Our firm serves clients nationwide and we have appeared in state and federal courts across the country.
Our firm has successfully recovered more than two billion dollars in settlements and verdicts. We offer free consultations and case evaluations for all potential and prospective clients. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no compensation until we win. The schedule your free appointment with one of our attorneys, please reach out to us using our online intake form or give us a call at (866) 695-1236.