In November, an Ohio woman was hospitalized following a gas explosion that destroyed at least two buildings. The explosion was caused by a ruptured gas line owned by Tennessee Gas Pipeline. Residents up to 12 miles away reported feeling and hearing the explosion. According to a CBS News report in September 2010, explosions involving natural gas pipelines are not uncommon, “occurring nearly every other day, and causing millions of dollars in property damage and several deaths each year.” If you were injured in a gas explosion, an experienced Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney can determine whether you have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries.
According to the CBS News report, an average of 155 incidents related to natural gas distribution pipelines occur each year, as shown by data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). In 2009 alone, there were:
Gas explosions can also occur in the workplace and home, where common appliances like water heaters and ranges may use natural gas. In May, two homes were destroyed by natural gas explosions within days of each other in the DC area, sending at least two people to the hospital with serious injuries and causing nearly $900,000 in property damage.
To prevent gas explosions involving pipelines, companies should:
To prevent gas explosions at home and in the workplace, consumers and businesses can:
Although natural gas itself has no odor, gas companies add a warning scent to it, so people can smell a gas leak. If you smell natural gas in your home or office or a gas detector alarm goes off:
No matter how safe we try to be with natural gas, accidents can still happen. If you are the victim of a gas explosion, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact a qualified Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer today to learn about your legal rights.