Gas companies have long been the cause of deadly fires and explosions. Often these fires arise from three sources: explosions at a refinery or gas company, well field explosions occurring from the extraction of gas, and explosions resulting from ruptured or leaking natural gas lines.
Recent Gas Pipeline Explosions and Fires
Natural gas explosions from pipeline ruptures or leaks happen all too frequently. In February, 2014, three such explosions occurred in three days:
Adair County, Kentucky Natural Gas Explosion – February 13, 2014
A 30” Columbia Gulf underground natural gas pipeline exploded in Adair County, Kentucky, leaving a 60 foot crater and setting fire to three homes. One person was reported injured.
New York City Apartment Gas Explosion – March 12, 2014
A massive gas explosion in New York City resulted in the collapse of at least two apartment building and enormous fires. The explosions or the resulting fires killed at least 8 people and injured a number of others, including several children. Reports surfaced that a number of residents living in the apartment buildings smelled natural gas in the days and weeks prior to the explosion.
Greene County Gasline Explosion – February 11, 2014
On February 11, 2014, a natural gas explosion occurred at the Chevron Lanco 7H well in Greene County, Pennsylvania, resulting in one worker being hospitalized and another worker missing. Because the resulting blaze is being fed by natural gas, the blaze may burn for many months.
The Liability of Gas Companies and Others for Gasline Explosions and Fires
The owners of gas pipelines are not always the same companies that supply gas. In some cases, natural gas may be supplied to houses or apartment buildings by a pipeline company that is not also the owner of the gas being supplied. These companies may even contract others to provide maintenance of pipelines. Additionally, natural gaslines may rupture as the result of actions by others, such as construction excavation.
As a natural gas explosion lawyer, in order to determine liability it is important to identify all those who may have constructed, owned, or be involved in the operation or maintenance of gas pipelines, or who may have caused a pipeline to rupture. Often, there may be multiple parties at fault.
As an example, a construction company may have ruptured a pipeline during the course of excavation, causing an explosion and fire. Additionally, the manufacturers of the pipeline may not have built the pipeline to proper specifications, which may have resulted in an increased risk of rupture. The pipeline may not have been installed correctly; perhaps it was not buried to the required depth. An engineer or surveyor may have prepared a map that showed the incorrect positioning of a pipeline. The pipeline owner may not have been performing required maintenance, or any maintenance may not have been performed correctly.
In this example, while the construction company is the most obvious cause of the explosion for rupturing the pipeline, the reality is that other parties may also bear liability. Our firm is dedicated to uncovering the truth so that we may hold all those responsible for their share of the liability.
If you’ve been injured or damaged as the result of a natural pipeline explosion or fire, please call us to learn how we can help.
We will meet with you for a free consultation so that you can learn about how we help those who have been injured and the families of those who have lost a loved one recover from those liable. We are tenacious in representing our clients, and work to hold accountable every person and company who may have contributed to the accidents involving our clients. We typically accept cases on a contingency fee basis, so there is no fee that is owed to us by our clients unless and until we have obtained a verdict or settlement on their behalf.