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Workers exposed to toxic fuel in tanker crash

Two emergency workers responding to the scene of an overturned truck containing thousands of gallons of gasoline were decontaminated after being exposed to fuel. The truck overturned in a state that borders Maryland at about 11 p.m. and sent 7,500 gallons of motor fuel into the streets.

The truck was delivering the gas to a Safeway grocer with a gas station when it took a left turn too sharply and overturned. The fuel truck is owned by a Maryland company. Safeway was forced to evacuate its store. The entire neighborhood was also under a voluntary evacuation order, and officials were encouraging locals to stay indoors during the cleanup.

Emergency units, including fire departments and rescue crews from surrounding districts, responded to the scene to stabilize the area and help clean up the spill. A Hazmat team decontaminated the driver of the truck, who was then taken to a local hospital for the injuries he suffered. During the cleanup, two Hazmat technicians were also decontaminated after they were exposed to gasoline while attempting to control the leak.

Work accidents that qualify for compensation can include accidents that cause immediate injury to a worker or, like in chemical exposure accidents, where an injury can develop over time. In both types of case, employers may be responsible for medical care from the injury suffered by their workers as well as replacement income and compensation for any permanent injuries. In this instance the immediate injuries suffered by the driver are likely compensable; additionally the workers exposed to gasoline may have suffered long term damage that could also be eligible for compensation in the future.

Source: Potomac Local, "2 HAZMAT workers exposed in tanker crash, effects on area may be lasting," July 12, 2013.

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