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2 workers at California school injured in natural gas explosion

Vallejo officials reported that a natural gas explosion injured two maintenance workers employed at Vallejo High School on Nov. 14. The two individuals were working on the heating system in a classroom inside a building currently under construction at the time of the incident, authorities said.

According to authorities, the school's gas service had been switched off for nearly three months leading up to the time of the explosion. This was due to the Aug. 24 earthquake that took place in nearby American Canyon, which registered a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale.

Reportedly, no students were in the building when the explosion occurred. According to the Vallejo City Unified School District, students were evacuated from the school immediately following the explosion. The school's other buildings reopened and resumed classes within a few hours, however. According to officials, the affected building will not open again until the damage caused by the explosion is fully repaired.

Following a workplace accident like this, filing for workers' compensation may be a viable recourse for the injured parties. While higher settlements might possibly be obtained through a personal injury claim filed in civil court, such a lawsuit requires either proof of employer negligence or the clear fault of a third party. A workers' compensation case requires no such proof.

In any event, workers injured during worksite incidents often retain the counsel and guidance of an attorney, who may help file and facilitate a workers' compensation claim. Should a dispute arise concerning the claim, the lawyer may represent the injured worker's interests. Following a successful claim, injured workers may receive medical and wage-loss benefits.

Source: News 10, "Natural gas explosion at Vallejo High School injures 2 workers", Stephanie Liebergen, November 14, 2014

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