Natural gas explosions are occurring more frequently all over the United States. Back in March, a natural gas explosion in New York leveled two apartment buildings, resulting in death and injuries to several New York residents. And who can forget the devastating natural gas explosion that destroyed an entire neighborhood in San Bruno, California back in 2010? The explosion destroyed over 38 homes, injured over 50 people, and resulted in 8 deaths.
The most recent natural gas explosion that has made national headlines is one that happened on Wednesday at a jail in Pensacola, Florida. As a personal injury law firm, we appreciate the devastation that can occur from these explosions, and some may even result in wrongful death.
The USA Today reported that on late Wednesday around 11 PM, an explosion at Escambia County Central Booking and Detention Center in Pensacola, Florida killed 2 inmates and injured 184 detainees and correctional officers. The explosion allegedly originated in the jail's first floor laundry room and severely destroyed a substantial portion of the jail. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.
Earlier that day, the jail's basement had flooded due to severe rains causing a retention wall to collapse. Investigators are exploring the possibility that this may be the root of the problem that caused the explosion. However, several inmates and correctional officers claim that they smelled gas 24 hours before the explosion. If the ongoing investigation into the cause of the natural gas leak reveals that a party was negligent in any way, the guilty party may be privy to personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.
To determine who is liable when a natural gas explosion occurs, it requires a thorough investigation into the sequence of events that led up to the explosion. A natural gas explosion usually happens when there is a natural gas leak coupled with an exposure to flame or sparks. Natural gas explosions can also result when there is a problem with leaky hoses, valves, or appliances that run on gas.
The Pipeline Safety Act requires gas companies to complete routine safety checks in homes and buildings that receive natural gas. Liability is determined depending on whether there was a defect in the product/pipeline or due to the negligence involved in either the installation or maintenance of the product/pipeline. Therefore, liability may fall on the following parties:
Pursuing an action for injuries or even death due to a natural gas explosion can be tedious because it may require an extensive investigation to determine who is liable. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a natural gas explosion, please contact our experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys today.