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Certain workplaces carry a higher risk for accidents than others. Oil refineries are no exception, since workers are in proximity to flammable liquids. A 24-year-old man is in critical condition at a University of California burn center following the explosion of three oil tanks at the Bango Oil Refining Company, which is located in a neighboring state. Fortunately, nobody else suffered workplace injuries in the explosion.

The incident occurred shortly after 9 a.m. on Dec. 9. According to reports, the worker was standing next to a tank when it exploded, and he was showered with hot oil. He suffered second and third degree burns over more than half of his body. A paramedic reported that the oil was difficult to remove. The worker was initially flown to a nearby medical center, but he was then flown to the burn center at UC, Davis.

The blast was reportedly caused by workers who were using a weed burner to defrost a frozen pipe. Though the company has 40 workers, only 14 were on-site at the time of the accident. The explosion caused a small fire, which crews were able to get under control. Bango has suspended operations while the investigation into the accident continues.

This worker likely suffers permanent injuries and a very long road to recovery. He may find it beneficial to look into his eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. People who suffer similar workplace injuries in California may find the workers’ compensation system to be daunting and complex. Seeking assistance during the process may help injured workers obtain the full amount of benefits that they are entitled to receive so they can have some financial relief at a very difficult time.

Source: KTVN Channel 2, Man Critically Injured After Explosion at Bango Oil Refinery in Fallon, No author, Dec. 9, 2013