Why are plant explosions difficult to investigate?

On Behalf of Renick Law Firm, PLLC |
Aug 27, 2022 |

When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, it is always easier if you have evidence to back up your claims. You need to know who is responsible and why they are responsible to put together a solid case.

While you certainly can file a lawsuit for your injuries related to a plant explosion without knowing exactly who is at fault, you will find it is much easier to do so after the investigation is complete. However, plant explosion investigations can go on for years and even decades due to the complexity.

An example

The West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility had a fire in April 2013. While volunteer firefighters were fighting the blaze, the plant exploded, killing 15 of the volunteers and injuring countless others. ABC7 explains it took three years for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine this was a case of arson. But by 2021, the culprit still was unknown.

The investigation

The reason it took three years for the ATF to determine the cause of the incident was the complexity of the scene. The explosion had an impact that spanned a huge area. It even registered as an earthquake. Such an extreme site takes a long time to comb over. A lot of potential evidence likely burnt or blew up when the plant exploded. In addition, the ATF had to rule out potential causes to narrow it down to arson. They had to interview everyone who was near or around the scene at the time before, during and after the incident. They poured over photos and studied the evidence. It was a long process.

Explosion investigations can be slow, which could impact your personal injury claim. You may need to wait as long as possible within the statute of limitations before filing your case in hopes that you will get strong evidence to back up your claim.