A Rapid Xchange propane explosion in Clinton, North Carolina on July 6, 2018, has sent two workers to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Rapid Xchange is a propane cylinder manufacturing and filling plant in Clinton, North Carolina.
Both workers were taken to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel hill. One of the workers was airlifted to the facility.
WRAL.com reports that the workers’ injuries were not life-threatening. One firefighter was treated at the scene.
The fire was in the tank holding storage yard of the Parker Gas Company’s Rapid Xchange Clinton plant at 6280 Hobbton Highway. Several 20-pound propane cylinders exploded.
Nine fire departments responded to the alarm, working to control the spread of the fire, and keep the unexploded propane tanks from heating up. These included about 25,000 20-pound tanks, and two larger 30,000-gallon propane tanks.
Because of the explosion danger in the Rapid Xchange propane explosion, officials evacuated all houses and buildings within one mile of the plant, and closed U.S. Highway 701 between Clinton and Newton Grove. It took over three hours before the situation was under control, then authorities re-opened the highway and allowed people back into their houses and businesses.
Rapid Xchange Propane Explosion Injuries
Burn injuries may be the most common injury from an explosion. Burns from high temperatures are called thermal burns. But burns from toxic chemicals (appropriately named chemical burns) are just as serious and possibly more complicated to treat. Electrical equipment can also cause serious burns.
In all three cases, the severity of the burn is one of the most important factors. A first degree burn, where only the outer layer of skin is damaged, is not as serious and can heal relatively quickly. A fourth degree burn, the most serious and most life-threatening burn, will penetrate all of the skin layers, and possibly destroye nerves, muscles, and even bone.
The other critical factor in all burns is how much of the body has been burned. Obviously, the phrase “less is better” strongly applies to burns. A second degree burn over a small area will not be nearly as dangerous as the same burn that covers a large part of a person’s body. If a burn covers 20% or more of a human body, it could cause a dangerous condition called burn shock. Quick, expert, and thorough medical treatment is required to deal with this condition.
The good news is that the two workers’ injuries in the Rapid Xchange propane explosion were described as “non-life-threatening.” While we don’t know for sure, that description suggests that the burns are likely to be less severe than they could have been, and may cover a relatively smaller area of each worker’s body.
Our best wishes go out to the injured people and their families as we wait to hear more details!
How Can a Lawyer Help?
When talking about relatively minor burns, it’s important to remember that “relatively minor” only means “when compared to how bad they could have been.”
Almost all burns are painful and take a long time to heal. Almost all burns need expert medical treatment. The ordeal of healing from a burn injury is made even worse by the medical bills that the treatment brings.
Pritzker Hageman lawyers have years of experience helping people recovering from explosion and burn injuries. Their expertise is matched only by their compassion. They will travel anywhere in the country to meet with you – from your home to your hospital bed. They will listen as you talk about what you need, what you want, and what you are worried about.
If you’re wondering if you have a legal case or not, you can talk to them for free and with no obligation. Call 1-888-377-8900, or fill out this on-line form.
“2 injured after multiple explosions at Clinton propane exchange.” CBS17.com, July 6, 2018.
Baez, Gilbert. “Two hurt in explosion, fire at Clinton propane operation.” Web editor Matthew Burns. WRAL.com, July 6, 2018.