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The La Follette Firework Explosion, 20 Years Later

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It has been 20 years since an industrial accident in Tennessee took the lives of four workers in La Follette, Tennessee. The accident occurred at Pyro Shows Inc., a fireworks factory, in June 1997, leaving behind twisted metal and debris. The explosion was so powerful that everyone in town heard it, and most could see its towering smoke cloud; it even knocked an entire church off its foundation. Some nearby believed that the deafening sound and concussive blast came from a plane crash. Windows around the city blew out.

20 years later, witnesses describe their memories of an unbelievable scene of destruction. One witness, who had been sitting in his car across from the blast, even waved as one of the men who was killed entered the building moments before the explosion. 200 yards away, another man and his son were standing in their front yard when the blast occurred, knocking them both down to the ground. Pieces of debris rained down on his home, blown free from the factory.


Workplace explosions have become more and more common in the United States as industry continues to expand. Some of the common causes of explosions include:

  • Faulty equipment or wiring
  • Overloaded electrical sockets
  • Airborne particle buildup
  • Smoking
  • Human error

The process of investigating the causes of an explosion can take a long time, but it is a necessity to determine if negligence is the cause of deaths or injuries from an explosion. If you or a loved one are injured or killed in a workplace explosion, talk to a personal injury and wrongful death attorney to determine if you are eligible for damages.

Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”