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Last Saturday afternoon an explosion at a Tacoma foundry caused a massive fire, closed a major highway and sent four people to the hospital. The fire at Atlas Castings & Technology was started when a delivery truck carrying 8,000 gallons of propane exploded at the foundry and caused a fire in a nearby propane tank.

The explosion was described by witnesses and police as like a bomb going up. The flames of the fire reportedly shot up as high as 1,000 feet in the air, and police were still struggling to contain the fire late into Saturday night.

The four people injured as a result of the explosion included three foundry workers and the driver of the delivery truck that exploded. The driver was transported to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries. One foundry worker suffered facial burns and the other two suffered leg and knee injuries.

The horrible explosion made me think about the families of the injured workers. The workers and their families are entitled to workers compensation benefits through the Department of Labor and Industries. But workers compensation benefits are rarely adequate and many people think if they’re injured at work they can’t bring a personal injury claim.

This view is inaccurate. While they may not be able to sue their employers or co-workers for personal injuries, they can bring personal injury claims against, for example, workers from other companies that cause their injuries.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Workplace Injuries and Workers Compensation.

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