WINFIELD — Two former workers of a Putnam County facility of Airgas U.S.A. L.L.C. are suing the company after sustaining injuries in an explosion.

William Lee Parrigan and Ronald Alan Forren filed a lawsuit May 29 in Putnam Circuit Court against Airgas U.S.A. L.L.C. and plant manager Charles William Boyles, citing deliberate intent.

The lawsuit states the two began a procedure to empty acetylene gas out of containers that were overfilled on May 13, 2013. After approximately 48 cylinders had been opened, there was a loud and violent explosion.

Forren was thrown and severely burned, and Parrigan was engulfed in flames. The initial explosion started a chain reaction where approximately 50 cylinders exploded. Both men were seriously injured.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated and cited Airgas with six violations in 2013 and fined it a total of $19,000, the complaint said. The facility is now closed.

The men are seeking damages that include both compensatory and punitive damages in excess of minimum jurisdictional limits, pre and post-judgment interest, plus all court costs.

They are being represented by Hurricane attorneys Richard E. Holtzapfel and David A. Holtzapfel of Holtzapfel Law Offices PLLC. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Joseph Reeder.

Putnam Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-161

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