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Lawsuits filed following Sept. 27 explosion at Westlake Chemical

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:57 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A second lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a worker injured in last week’s plant explosion at Westlake Chemical.

“Without any warning, there was an explosion,” said Attorney Mo Aziz.

Aziz is representing two of the workers injured on the job.

“Both were rendered unconscious. One was recently released from the hospital but is still scheduled for some more surgeries, and Mr. Green is still in the burn unit at Lafayette,” Aziz said.

Westlake operators issued what’s called a “hot work permit” which gave allowance to welders to do the job they had to do.

“These men should’ve never been issued hot work permits if it was not ensured by Westlake that the lines were clear, completely purged, and there was no flammable in the area,” Aziz said.

Kurt Arnold, an attorney who filed one of the suits, currently represents 14 people claiming they were injured in the explosion.

“I mean I think it’ll be dozens before it’s all said and done. You have to remember that there are certain people that are burned, a person lost a leg, but ultimately, many many,” Arnold said.

The contractors were working while the plant was shut down, which Arnold said is the most dangerous time to be in a plant.

“I’ve found that nearly in every plant explosion that I’ve been involved in, it’s been during a turnaround because it’s the heightened risk to the contractors. You’re packing a ton of contractors into a plant at the same time in close proximity, so when something bad happens, the injuries are multiplied because everybody’s on top of each other,” Arnold said.

Patsy Bomboy’s son works at the plant and was just 100 feet away from the explosion when it happened.

“He was about 100 feet or so from the explosion, and from what I’ve been told, one of the workers was trapped, so he ran over there. I think another guy actually happened to be there, too, so they both pulled him out,” Bomboy said.

The big question that remains is what caused the explosion?

We reached out to Westlake Chemical. The company chose not to comment at this time.

Below, you can find the full lawsuit for both cases.

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