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Industrial Gas Leak Kills Tennessee Worker

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A worker died when a protective glass shattered and exposed him to harmful materials at a Memphis chemical plant. Other workers have died and sustained injuries because of negligence at a Valero facility.

The most recent accident involved a ruptured sight glass. Sight glasses are clear tubes or panes that allow workers to see toxic chemicals inside tanks or pumps. The ruptured glass exposed two workers and later two firefighters to propane and hydrofluoric acid. One worker died, and the other three are recovering in stable condition.


A fire at the plant killed one worker and injured three others in March of 2012. After Nicolas Cuevas died, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the plant. The suit claims that the plant did not provide firefighting assistance in a timely manner and that hazardous and flammable gases were in close proximity to a flare line. Following this accident, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the plant $63,000 for nine serious violations.

Tight control and strict oversight is necessary at industrial plants that handle volatile chemicals. Family members who lost loved ones in workplace-related accidents may be entitled to relief from workers compensation or wrongful death suits. To learn more about how we can help in these tragic circumstances, call our office today at (615) 866-3938. There is no charge for our first meeting.

“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

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