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June 14th, 2012

Seven People Killed in Tugboat Explosion

Seven crew members have been reported dead in a tugboat explosion tragedy off the coast of Qatar. The accident occurred one week ago, when an offshore LNG buoy terminal exploded. The crewmembers were conducting maintenance work on the buoy at the time of the explosion.

According to some sources, only one of the crew members on the tugboat escaped the explosion. There is very little information available about the cause of the explosion.  Investigations have begun.

Tugboat accidents often occur as a result of the negligence of the employer, or unseaworthy conditions on a vessel. An employer can be negligible by failing to train workers adequately, and equipping them for the tasks that they have to perform. An employer who refuses adequate rest breaks for employees, or forces them to work for long periods of time, can be liable for an injury caused when the employee is stressed, sleepy, or overworked.

Unseaworthy conditions on a tugboat can also result in injuries. Unseaworthiness refers not just to the lack of physically safe conditions on the vessel, but also to a failure to equip the vessel with proper tools and equipment to work safely. A vessel must be equipped with firefighting and life-saving equipment, and must have enough numbers of these devices for all crew members of the vessel. A vessel must be equipped with enough provisions, including food and groceries, to last the journey. The vessel must also be staffed by competent and highly trained crewmembers.

If you have been injured in a tugboat accident, it is likely that you are covered under the Jones Act. Consult a skilled Jones Act lawyer at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  for a free evaluation of your case.

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