One man is dead and another is in critical condition after an explosion at a Pennsylvania gas station. One of the store’s co-owners suffered fatal injuries in the explosion while one employee survived, but was last listed in critical condition. Injuries of this magnitude usually require ongoing medical care, which can complicate the financial lives of victims who are already short on cash from missing work. In most cases, workers’ compensation can address these issues.

The co-owner of the gas station was using a Shop-Vac to clear out water in an underground vault near three tanks used for storing gasoline. It is not clear if using this type of tool in such situations is standard. While sucking up water, electricity feeding into the vacuum or its motor sparked gasoline fumes, causing the explosion. Witnesses described seeing fireballs shooting out of the underground vault and into the air.

Unfortunately, the man operating the Shop-Vac died in the blast. A 63-year-old employee survived by was severely burned across about 45 percent of his body. He is currently in the care of a burn unit at an area hospital, where he is expected to remain for some time.

Burns are especially painful injuries that can limit a person’s ability to maintain a life without pain, gainful employment or even basic self-care. When burns are a result of a work accident, Pennsylvania victims can seek benefits through the workers’ compensation system. These benefits can create a stable financial foundation, giving victims the opportunity to better focus on their recovery.