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Worker death under investigation in Midland blast

State and local authorities are on the job investigating the death early this month of a 23-year-old worker at a West Texas oil and gas operation. According to various news reports on the disaster, the man was mixing chemicals in a building in Midland, Texas, owned by Water Rescue Services.

Officials say there was an explosion and fire. The blast not only killed this young man but also destroyed the building, two RV's at a nearby RV park and three other vehicles. The cause of the explosion remains the subject of serious scrutiny.

Some reports say authorities suspect the blast may have been the result of the chemical mixing. One outlet quoted the local sheriff as saying that the preliminary investigation indicated that a spark ignited the chemicals.

Those who work in the oil and gas fields of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana know that water management is part of the process of production. This worker apparently was in the process of doing some water recycling.

It might seem to run counter to common sense that water treatment could result in an explosion that could lead to worker injury or death. But where chemicals are involved, there are risks. These kinds of fatal accidents are reportedly on the decline over what they were 10 years ago. But as this case shows, they still happen.

If you have been injured in an industrial accident; if a loved one has been killed in such a disaster; and you suspect negligence on the part of the company's management, you should make it a point to speak with a skilled workplace accident attorney to understand your rights and options for seeking due compensation.

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