A luminous orange fireball lit up the night sky following a West Virginia chemical plant explosion. A dangerous plume of toxic smoke shot upward as a result of the Optima Chemicals Company explosion as well. One person at the plant was killed directly after the explosion. At least three other people have been seriously injured. These include a member of the general public who was outside of the perimeters of the Optima Chemicals Company plant but was struck by flying debris from the chemical explosion.
The Optima Chemicals Company explosion occurred at the firm’s plant located in Belle, West Virginia in Kanawha County. Belle is located about 20 miles from the West Virginia state capital of Charleston.
Evacuation of Plant Following Optima Chemicals Company Explosion
Emergency personnel were quick to arrive at the scene of the blast. Not only did they immediately begin work at containing the large fire that followed the explosion, they evacuated the plant grounds themselves and the area immediately surrounding it.
Officials had immediate concerns that more explosions might have followed the initial blast, leaving people in and around the facility at considerable risk of injury or even death. As it turned out, no further explosions occurred at the Optima Chemicals Company plant. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze with a matter of several hours.
Shelter in Place Order Issued
Out of a very real concern about the toxins that might be contained in the smoke cloud that spread outwards from the West Virginia chemical plant explosion, health and environmental officials with the county and state issued a shelter in place order. The order extended over a 2-mile radius surrounding the plant.
Air quality monitoring commenced soon after the explosion and fire. Ultimately, those monitoring air quality concluded that the shelter in place order could be lifted. Nonetheless, people were cautioned to seek medical attention immediately if they began to experience any symptoms they thought were brought on by the smoke emanating from the chemical plant.
Cause of the Optima Chemicals Plant Under Investigation
The investigation into the cause of the Optima Chemicals explosion is ongoing. No real information has yet to have been released by investigators.
What is known is that chlorinated dry bleach and methanol were somehow both involved in the explosion. These can both prove to be hazardous substances that can jeopardize the health and wellbeing of plant workers and members of the public alike.
No timeframe has been provided for the investigation. All workers from the plant appear to have been accounted, including those who were injured in the explosion.
Who is Responsible for What at the West Virginia Explosion Site?
There may be a notable amount of confusion over who ultimately might bear responsibility for the death and injuries arising from the West Virginia chemical explosion. As mentioned, the explosion technically occurred at the Optima Chemicals Company plant.
With that said, the Optima plant is part of a larger facility owned by Chemours Company. Evidently, Optima leases its facilities from Chemours. Chemours Company itself is a spinoff from Dupont, one of if not the largest chemical company in the world. The possibility exists that all three entities, if not others, might end up sharing responsibility for the damages and injuries caused by the explosion.
Protecting Your Legal Rights Following an Explosion Accident
A nationwide law practice with 40 offices located across the country, The Doan Law Firm legal team includes experienced explosion accident attorneys. You can schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with a Doan Law Firm explosion accident lawyer any time by calling (800) 349-0000. We are here 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have and to discuss you case.
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