Natural gas leaks happen more than many Missouri and Illinois residents might realize, and they can have devastating consequences. The national rate of natural gas leaks hovers around 35.2 leaks per every 1,000 miles of natural gas mains. One major problem with the nation’s natural gas infrastructure is the fact that it is an aging system made up of large numbers of cast-iron pipelines and gas mains. This can result in gas leaks that can, in turn, cause dangerous or even deadly explosions and fires.
Missouri authorities are still trying to determine whether a house explosion which occurred in mid-September was caused by a natural gas leak or some other cause. Investigators do believe that natural gas was behind the explosion, but Missouri Gas Energy officials are apparently claiming that their test of a line leading into that home showed no signs of leaks. The explosion fortunately involved a vacant home, so nobody inside that building was injured. Unfortunately, however, a neighbor from a nearby home did suffer some injuries.
Another state was recently reported to have been phenomenally lucky in the amount of fatalities related to the percentage of dangerous gas leaks it has suffered. That state, New Jersey, has apparently had approximately twice the number of gas leaks among its four separate gas utility companies as compared to the national rate. Only one person has died as a result of such natural gas leaks in New Jersey over the past decade, but the fact its average is so much higher than the national statistic is eye-opening.
Federal authorities have repeatedly pointed out the inherent dangers of America’s aging pipeline system, but utility companies are often slow to replace the troublesome pipelines. Many cite cost as a prohibitive factor. However, this is a cold comfort for victims of natural gas explosions and fires; especially those who have lost loved ones in a fatal accident.
One such deadly gas leak and explosion occurred last year in Missouri at a Kansas City restaurant. In the year since the explosion at J.J.’s restaurant, emergency calls to authorities reporting suspected gas leaks have skyrocketed. One Kansas City fire official believes this is partly because of increased public awareness of the dangers surrounding natural gas leaks, and partly because natural gas leaks themselves may be increasing.
In the event that natural gas leaks lead to Missouri or Illinois officials being seriously injured, or in the worst cases losing someone they love, the law does provide remedies for them to pursue. A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit filed in a civil court of law can lead to financial restitution. However, having an accurate understanding of the law and how to apply it to these types of cases can be invaluable; often meaning the difference between succeeding or losing. Please consider contacting my St. Louis personal injury law firm, toll-free, at 1-888-586-7041. We are experienced in pursuing natural gas explosion and fire cases and will gladly discuss the facts of your case and how we may be able to help you obtain the restitution you deserve.
Disclaimer: The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Sources: http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2014/09/23/deadly-explosions-gas-main-danger-lurks-ground/16135233/ and http://www.kmbc.com/news/preliminary-cause-points-to-gas-leak-in-kc-house-explosion/28121278 and http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article340461/Gas-leak-calls-spiked-in-the-months-after-last-year%E2%80%99s-explosion-at-JJ%E2%80%99s.html