As emergency workers continue searching for the missing following a massive explosion Wednesday evening at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant, serious questions are emerging regarding the business’s safety practices and chemical storage procedures.
Dallas trial lawyer Frank L. Branson says it’s important that evidence is not lost or destroyed during the early stages of the cleanup and recovery operation at the West Fertilizer Co.
“As the scene evolves from emergency rescue to recovery, you’ve got different agencies – local police, property owners, state and federal regulators working together with different missions and priorities,” says Mr. Branson, founder of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson. “Somebody from the consumer side needs to be involved in a watchdog role to protect the evidence. I worked on a gas explosion where one of the responsible parties came out and took a critical piece of evidence and kept it hidden in the trunk of a vehicle for months.”
In this interview on KLIF-AM, Texas explosion attorney Frank Branson discusses the blast at the fertilizer facility in West, Texas:
The firm’s trial team has extensive experience representing individuals injured in industrial explosions and construction accidents. In an interview with KLIF radio/Dallas on Thursday, Mr. Branson noted that these cases often require thorough independent investigation, engineering analysis and accident reconstruction.
“We’ll want to know whether West residents knew about the safety risks and whether local, state and federal regulators were told the truth about what the dangerous chemicals this business was handling,” Mr. Branson says. “Certainly, there are serious questions about how vigorous the oversight was from the state and federal agencies that are responsible for regulating dangerous chemicals and worksites.
“The first 48 to 72 hours are critical because emergency first responders are focused on immediate search-and-rescue operations and stabilizing a potentially dangerous site. Critical evidence is often lost or destroyed – either accidentally or on purpose – during the chaotic phase of a tragedy like this. Someone needs to step in and ensure that evidence is preserved.”<Back