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Workers injured in New Jersey blast

Three New Jersey workers suffered injuries after an explosion occurred at a Bergen County animal hospital on March 6. The incident happened around noon at the Oradell Animal Hospital located on Winters Avenue. Investigators say that the explosion was in the east side of the building, while most the animals and hospital personnel were located on the west side. One worker was critically injured, and two others suffered injuries that were described as minor. After the explosion occurred, only some of the 60 animals at the hospital exhibited any injuries, but those were reportedly associated with prior conditions.

The building remained structurally sound after the explosion, but the eastern portion of the hospital did collapse. The incident reportedly happened as workers were performing maintenance on an MRI machine used for the animals. Emergency responders arrived on scene to free those who were trapped under rubble created by the explosion. Hazardous materials specialists worked to contain a helium leak as well. The workers injured in the blast were not employees of the hospital but were with a different company.

The person who suffered critical injuries was brought to Hackensack University Medical Center to receive treatment. The others injured in the explosion were brought to hospitals nearby. Investigators say some component of the machine exploded, but no fire was ignited. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Employees injured in workplace accidents typically benefit from consulting legal counsel. Lawyers may be prepared to investigate the events leading to the incident and help identify the parties liable for the resulting damages. If it appears that the accident was due to the negligence of a non-employer third party, it may be possible in some cases to pursue a separate personal injury action in addition to filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

Source: NJ.com, "Workers hurt in N.J. animal hospital explosion", Noah Cohen, March 6, 2015

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