A natural gas explosion that took place on November 23, 2012, has injured more than 20 people and damaged 42 buildings in Springfield’s entertainment district. Human error from a utility worker from Columbia Gas Co. is reportedly the cause of the explosion.
According to reports, the worker accidentally punctured a high-pressure pipeline while looking for a leak using a metal tool, causing a flood of gas to build up in a strip club building, and a spark touched off the blast. Columbia Gas Co.’s president claims that the employee was following the correct procedures. However, he was following older markings on a sidewalk that indicated the location of the gas line that was incorrect, accidentally puncturing the pipe.
After the explosion officials evacuated several buildings. Most of the injured victims were part of a group of firefighters, police officers, and gas workers. Officials praised the firefighters’ work, claiming that it was a miracle no one had suffered fatalities. Columbia officials have been cooperating with the state Department of Public Utilities and have determined that there are no more gas leaks in the neighborhood.
Factors causing or contributing to gas explosions resulting in burn injuries or wrongful death have included improper gas line locations, faulty parts and equipment in mobile homes, workplace equipment, camping equipment, and defectively designed propane stoves. One important signal indicating the potential for a catastrophic event is the odor of gas (note that although gas has no smell, laws require that odorants be added for safety purposes). Should a gas leak be suspected, the property owner or occupants should immediately evacuate, then contact the proper authorities.
If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries from a fire, explosion or electrocution, contact a personal injury attorney at our Boston law office. We are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Call us at (617) 742-1900 or Toll-Free at (800) 545-3732.