TARPON SPRINGS, FL — Representatices from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have named Michael Sheppard as the man that died, and Eric Newell as the man that was hospitalized following an industrial blast in Tarpon Springs, Florida on Thursday, April 16th, 2015. Reports out of the Tampa Bay area said that the accident was reported shortly before 2:00 Thursday afternoon.
Police think that 29-year-old Michael Sheppard died and 41-year-old Eric Newell were killed was taken to the hospital after an explosion tore through a MagneGas fuel facility located at 150 Rainville Road. Media reports said that the explosion happened behind the building, and that the source of the blast was a pressurized cylinder. The news did not elaborate on what caused the cylinder to explode.
Officials from OSHA and the local police department handled the accident investigation.
Scene of the Accident
View of the Road
Can anybody offer any insight as to what may have caused this pressurized cylinder to explode? Was the cylinder possibly defective right out of the box, so to speak? If further investigation shows that the cylinder exploded because it was not adequately designed or constructed, the manufacturer could be viewed as an intervening third party in the eyes of the law. What does this mean? It means that the manufacturer of the device could be liable for the accident, and the victims may not have to resort to workers’ compensation solutions. Why would this be a good thing? Isn’t workers’ compensation there to help? Well, on paper, yes, but in my experience, workers’ compensation protects employers far more than it takes care of victims or their surviving families. If the equipment was defective (and there would be evidence of this), then workers’ compensation, and all it’s typical shortcomings may be able to be circumvented by holding responsible the company that put this potentially deadly product out on the market.
— Grossman Law Offices