Large-scale Industrial Accidents: Rare but Always Tragic


Last week an explosion at a Texas fertilizer manufacturing plant killed at least 14 people and injured around 200. Although officials still aren’t sure what caused the accident, its impact was felt for miles because the blast resembled a small earthquake and destroyed homes and lives throughout the small town.

But this industrial accident, though severe, wasn’t the largest of its kind. Historically, large industrial accidents happen around every decade or so, though each is a shocking surprise. Perhaps the most frightening thing about them is the fact that they are usually preventable.

CBS Atlanta looked at the country’s deadliest industrial accidents in an effort to get some perspective on the Texas explosion.

One of the accidents they profiled involved a ship that docked in Texas City filled with fertilizer. The ammonium nitrate caught fire, and a crowd gathered to watch firefighters combat the blaze. That’s when the ship blew up, killing a total of 581 people. This was in 1947 and happened only 240 miles from last week’s fertilizer blast.

Such tragedies aren’t limited only to fertilizer; another tragic accident happened at a shoe factory. In 1905, the boiler at the Grover Shoe Factory in NYC blew up. It shot upwards through three floors of the building and eventually out the roof. The boiler and the fire it caused weakened the structure, which caused it to collapse. The explosion, fire, and building collapse killed 53 people.

These are the deadliest and most memorable tragedies in the industrial world. But often, accidents happen that never make the front pages.

Chemical burns, crushing injuries from large machines, and small fires can change lives dramatically. But unless there is a fatality, they may not make the news.

For those involved in smaller industrial accidents, the pain and suffering is the same. Trying to get back on your feet after a life-changing accident can be difficult–particularly if you can’t work or if you don’t feel safe going back to work.

Often these accidents are caused by the employer’s shortcomings. Failure to provide machines in good working order or to supply employees with proper safety equipment can result in tragedy.

Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys

Whether you are seriously hurt on the job or if you are injured in a public place, the personal injury attorneys of Millar & Mixon LLC may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and the legal options available to you. Call 678-999-2527 now for a free consultation.