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New Jersey explosion injures gas workers, firefighters, and EMTs

A gas explosion that leveled a house in Ocean County, New Jersey injured seven gas workers, six firefighters and two EMTs. Police car video revealed the explosion that completely destroyed a home in the Cedar Run neighborhood and sent debris high into the air.

The Stafford Township Police captain said that approximately 90 minutes before the explosion, police had been alerted to the presence of a gas odor. The New Jersey Natural Gas Company was informed. Gas workers were attempting to find the leak while authorities were evacuating the neighborhood when the explosion happened. The blast utterly reduced one Oak Avenue home to its foundation and damaged other nearby buildings.

A gas company representative said that an extremely injured gas worker needed CPR at the scene. He and another co-worker were airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center's Trauma Unit. Minor injuries were reported among six firefighters and two EMTs. Most of their injuries were described as concussions. Utilities in the neighborhood were shut off during the rescue operation.

This story illustrates the hazards workers can face on their jobs. Workers' compensation insurance is meant to provide for people hurt on the job. A person who suffers a work injury, however, might find the system hard to navigate. Reporting requirements are strict, and insurance companies might be prone to denying claims. A person in that situation might turn to an attorney for help. An attorney might be able to let someone know if an insurance settlement is fair. If it is not, an attorney might aid in negotiations and enable the worker to successfully file a claim for benefits.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, "New Jersey home 'disintegrated' in gas explosion, 15 injured," Dan Stamm and Kelly Bayliss, Feb. 26, 2015

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