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Barge explosion sparks lawsuit for worker’s injuries

Any dangerous property condition, no matter where it takes place, can result in litigation if someone is injured on the property. Accidents that occur offshore are not exempt from premises liability lawsuits, if an equipment or property owner is determined to be at fault. Additionally, parties that may have contributed to the hazardous conditions can also be held liable for any injuries.

Several companies are involved in a lawsuit stemming from multiple blasts that injured three people. In late April, seven explosions occurred on the Mobile River in Alabama, when oil vapors being vented from a barge’s tanks were ignited by an outside source. An attorney believes the accident happened as workers vented the oil vapors from towing barges, and the running engines from a nearby tugboat possibly sparked the blasts.

One of the injured workers has filed a lawsuit for unspecified damages, saying the companies’ negligence caused the accident. Oil Recovery Co. of Alabama, AEP River Operations of Missouri, and D&S Marine Service of Louisiana are all named in the lawsuit. The injured man continues to receive treatment for his injuries at a Dallas burn center, while the other two workers remain hospitalized at this time in critical condition. The plaintiff had just completed work on the tugboat’s electronics system at the time of the accident.

We understand that it’s impossible to prevent all accidents, but following some safety protocols can prevent a good deal--such as keeping ignition sources away from fumes and fuel tanks. Medical expenses add up quickly for serious injuries, and it can greatly help the victim of an accident if a negligent party is determined.

Source: Source:, “Injured worker in Mobile River barge blast files lawsuit against four companies,” Brendan Kirby, May 1, 2013

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