Readers who have visited other areas of our website may be familiar with the deadly explosion which occurred in another state back in March regarding the liability of gas companies when it comes to gas pipeline explosions and fires. That catastrophic gas pipeline explosion destroyed two buildings, claiming the lives of eight people in the process. Missouri and Illinois residents who have been injured or lost loved ones in similar fatal explosions may wish to research their rights under personal injury and wrongful death laws.
In the March explosion, many questions linger as to what exactly caused the disaster. Federal officials are conducting an investigation into just what happened. They are not yet announcing their findings, but state regulators where the explosion occurred have alleged that they have uncovered serious flaws related to trained workers employed by Consolidated Edison (Con Edison), the company responsible for installing much of the underground plastic pipelines conducting natural gas in that area of the city.
Con Edison itself has reportedly admitted that it has allowed a pattern of improprieties regarding safety regulations and worker certifications to continue since at least 2009. Allegations abound that the vast majority of its 525 workers responsible for connecting plastic gas mains in that area of New York did not do so according to federal safety rules. Additionally, some 301 of those workers were reported to have experienced lapses in required safety qualifications, with some of those lapses lasting even longer than a one-year period.
Even more embarrassingly for Con Edison — and potentially disastrous for area residents — 62 workers who were retested to ensure their qualifications to fuse those plastic pipelines together actually failed the test. This meant that the workers had to be trained yet again. These issues certainly raise troubling questions for the utility company which bills itself as a leader in the industry.
Federal authorities are likely taking all of these factors into consideration as they continue investigating the fatal March explosion. The National Transportation Safety Board has apparently claimed that it discovered a gas main leak did exist beneath the Park Avenue site of the explosion, but has not yet revealed the exact cause of the leak or whether it contributed to the fiery blast.
Con Edison maintains that its history of testing discrepancies had nothing to do with the March explosion, but it seems too early to state this definitively, especially considering that the federal investigation is still ongoing. Even if the investigation ultimately reveals that the testing improprieties did not factor into the tragedy, that does not mean that the gas company did not play a role in the explosion and fires, or that it may not be found negligent if it is proven that some action or inaction on its part may be to blame for the deadly explosion and fires.
Missouri and Illinois victims of a gas pipeline explosion or fire have the right to seek civil compensation on their own behalves, or on the behalves of loved ones who have lost their lives. My St. Louis personal injury law firm can be reached by dialing 1-888-586-7041, toll-free, to discuss the facts of a specific case and what legal options you might have for seeking civil justice. While financial restitution will not return a loved one or erase any serious burn injuries that may have been suffered, it can help smooth a victim’s road to recovery and ensure they do not have to worry about the financial damages that have been suffered through no fault of their own. This can leave them free to recuperate from physical and emotional injuries as much as possible.
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Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/01/nyregion/inquiry-into-fatal-explosion-reveals-lapses-in-con-ed-workers-qualifications.html?_r=1 and https://www.dysart-law.com/the-liability-of-gas-companies-for-fires-and-explosions/