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Lawsuit: Poor warnings led to fatal steel drum explosion

April 22, 2019

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A lawsuit says inadequate warnings and disposal led to a steel drum explosion in southwestern Indiana that killed a man.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports 46-year-old John Fritchley II was using a blowtorch at his home near Boonville on Feb. 11, 2018, to cut the end off of an empty steel drum when it exploded. Fritchley had planned to use the barrel for burning trash. Investigators say the drum had contained a highly flammable liquid solvent.

A lawsuit on behalf of Fritchley’s wife, Samantha Labno-Fritchley, says that the death was preventable. A trial in Vanderburgh Circuit Court is scheduled for 2020.

The lawsuit names several businesses involved in the chain of distribution of the drum. Attorneys for the companies have denied the claims in their own court filings.

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

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