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Employee injured in Western PA gas company explosion

An explosion and fire at Consol Energy Inc. nearby Route 22 in Blairsville left one employee injured. According to reports, the Feb. 15 incident took place around 5 p.m. at the natural gas company's building in Derry Township.

First responders to the scene were able put the fire out quickly once the gas supply to the facility was turned off by the company. A medical helicopter, arriving at a nearby landing zone, transported the injured contractor to West Penn Hospital for treatment. The Blairsville Fire Department chief stated that the worker, who suffered burns to his arms and face, was alert after the accident. Officials said that the structure did not sustain heavy damage, and that the site where the blast occurred was under control. A company representative also said that the incident was under investigation.

Experiencing a workplace accident can be very stressful for employees and their families. Besides trying to regain strength and get back to normalcy, employees who were injured on the job may also feel the financial strain the accident can cause, especially if their income is the major support of a household. Under such circumstances, Pennsylvania's workers' compensation laws provide injured workers recourse to the benefits they need during the recovery.

If the nature of an employee's injuries prevents a return to work, temporary, partial or total disability benefits may be available. Even employees who suffer a medical condition long after being exposed to hazards at the workplace may be eligible for the benefits. If the work site accident can be attributed to the negligence of a non-employer third party, it may be possible to file a separate personal injury action as well.

Source: WTRF, "Fire, explosion injures worker at gas company building", Associated Press, Feb. 16, 2015

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