Maritime explosions are some of the most dangerous accidents that occur on waterways, in ports, or on shipping channels. Cargo ships and tankers often carry flammable material that can ignite instantly. Maritime explosions can kill hundreds of people in an instant, depending on the chemicals and the strength of the blast. While some explosions are unavoidable accidents, many are caused by negligence.
One of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history occurred off the coast of Texas, known as the Texas City Disaster. According to recent reporting on the disaster by ABC 13, the blast happened when ammonium nitrate on a French cargo ship at the Texas City port detonated “sending a massive fireball hundreds of feet into the air” and causing a 15-foot wave that flooded the area. Debris from the explosion “triggered fires at nearby chemical plants and refineries.” The maritime explosion killed hundreds of people and did catastrophic damage to the surrounding area.
Just over ten years ago, a maritime explosion caused one of the most devastating environmental disasters in history. The Deepwater Horizon was an oil drilling rig located in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “On April 20, 2010, the Macondo Well experienced an uncontrolled well event and an uncontrolled blowout of, inter alia, oil and methane gas.” This blowout resulted in multiple explosions and fires on the rig, ultimately causing it to sink into the ocean. The explosion discharged millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and killed eleven people. The owner of the rig, BP Exploration & Production, along with several other parties, were held liable for the spill.
The deadliest maritime explosion occurred when a French munitions ship collided with another vessel near the Canadian port city of Halifax. According to History.com, the disaster occurred when the Mont Blanc, carrying highly explosive cargo, collided with a Norwegian ship resulting in a deadly fire and explosion that killed over 1800 people and destroying the city.
Maritime explosions often cause catastrophic injuries. If the explosion was caused by human error or negligence, then you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Whether it was the underlying design of the vessel or oil rig or a crew member’s inexperience that caused your injury, you can recover extensive damages.
An experienced maritime attorney can hold liable parties responsible for their actions. Maritime explosions can require complex litigation. It is essential to discuss your case with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer before accepting a settlement.
If you have been injured in a maritime explosion, contact Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs today at (713) 751-0025 for a free consultation and to discuss your rights.
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