Exploding cornfields are more often thought to be an event in a sci-fi movie than a real-life experience. But, residents in Eerie, Illinois who were as far as 20 miles from the epicenter of the blast saw just that: a cornfield going up in flames, with some flames reaching as high as 300 feet in the air. Pilots in the air while the fire was ablaze reported seeing flames from as far away as 160 miles.
As many as 26 workers were on duty when a Blue Rhino propane tank plant erupted into a series of explosions last night. Seven were taken to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment following the Central Florida gas blast; one person was in critical condition. All workers have been accounted for following the explosions.
The ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas was the scene of a flash fire Wednesday morning in one of its processing units. Three workers were severely burned in the oil refinery fire, according to first responders. Three additional workers were taken to local hospitals for treatment.
Fifteen people have been injured and one person has been killed in a gas explosion that ignited a blaze covering an entire city block in Kansas City. JJ's restaurant, a popular eatery in the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City, was destroyed in the sudden, tragic explosion.
A pipeline explosion in Hemphill County, near Canadian, Texas, not only destroyed construction equipment, but also resulted in one worker being sent to a nearby hospital where he was treated for burn injuries.
Honda Motor Company announced today that it is recalling 126,000 GL-1800 Goldwing motorcycles for model years 2001-2010 and 2012 because of problems with the rear brakes. According to Honda, under certain conditions the rear braking system's secondary master cylinder may cause the rear brake to drag unexpectedly. Unexpected dragging can increase the risk of a crash, and riding on a motorcycle with the rear brake dragging might generate sufficient heat for the rear break to catch fire. Honda's recall notice to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not specify whether the defect has caused any crashes or injuries. But according to papers filed with the federal agency, Honda has received 26 complaints about the brakes, including two fires. In one case, an owner had to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) has launched a formal defect investigation into the Chevrolet Volt after two vehicles caught fire as part of testing conducted by regulators. Last week, a Chevy Volt battery pack caught fire after being intentionally damaged a week earlier by NHTSA. The agency also recorded a temperature increase in another battery pack one day after it was damaged, and a third pack emitted smoke and sparks after a similar test. These latest fires are in addition to a battery fire in a crash-tested Volt in June. There, a fire occurred at a storage facility three weeks after the Volt was crash-tested. General Motors attributed that fire to a failure to deactivate the lithium-ion battery in the vehicle.
While it is no surprise to Texans, who are used to seeing plant after plant, with towering industrial stacks, along the coast, it may surprise the rest of America to know that the Texas Gulf Coast refines almost one-third of the nation's oil. Given the number of oil and gas plants and refineries in the gulf area, fires, explosions and industrial incidents are not uncommon.
Just recently, on August 6, 2010, Florida real estate company St. Joe Co. filed suit against oil field contractor, Halliburton. According to the allegations in the suit and announcements made by lead counsel for St. Joe Co., Halliburton bears full responsibility for the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Halliburton was the sole cementing contractor for the Macando well, which was attached to the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. That platform exploded, caught fire, and sank in April of this year.
The Texas Supreme Court recently overturned another jury verdict. In the case of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Merrell, et al., ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex. 2010), the court threw out the testimony of the expert witness; without that testimony, the plaintiff's did not have sufficient evidence for their case.