In 2013, a series of explosions occurring at a Tavares, Florida gas plant rocked the state. The accident injured eight people, five of them critically, after several explosions sent workers and local residents into a panic. The Blue Rhino propane plant is located in northwest Orlando and refills propane tanks that are commonly used for barbeques and other heating purposes. The plant holds at least 53,000 20 pound tanks at any given time at the premises. On the day of the explosions, there were 14 full time employees present and 10 part time. Neighboring residents believed there were bombs going off as the massive explosions shook surrounding homes. A huge fire erupted that could be seen from seven miles away and booms continued for over 30 minutes.
The propane plant was cited with a serious violation back in 2011 and became the subject of a serious investigation. Two years after this incident, in Pensacola, an explosion ripped through the Escambia County Jail, killing two inmates. The incident is believed to have been caused by a natural gas explosion. Over 155 inmates were treated for injuries stemming from the massive explosion that nearly demolished the jail.
Causes of Gas Explosions
A gas explosion is most often the result of negligence on the part of an individual or company. Gas explosions, whether they involve natural gas or propane, are usually initiated by a gas leak of some sort combined with an ignition spark. The negligent act can cause the leak or the spark that leads to the fateful explosion.
Gas tanks, pipelines, and valves are designed to be leak proof, meaning that when a gas leak does occur and causes an explosion, there is likely to be negligence somewhere in the chain of events. Negligent actions could have occurred in the design, installation, manufacture, inspection, maintenance, or repair of a gas component.
Common causes of gas explosions include:
- Leaking hoses or tanks
- Poor or negligent maintenance
- Defective control valves
- Leaking hoses or tanks
- Defective connectors
- Improper installation
Gas Explosion Related Injuries
Natural gas explosions, residential propane gas explosions, and house fires cause a number of severe injuries across the United States. Some of the consequences of a gas explosion include:
- Property damage
- Burns, ranging from first to third degree
- Smoke inhalation
- Broken limbs
What to Do If You Suspect a Gas Leak
If you suspect gas is leaking in your home or workplace, you should vacate it immediately. Call 911 and your utility company for assistance. Do not attempt to turn off appliances or locate the leak. The main sign of a natural gas leak is a rotten egg smell. If an explosion does occur, contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Award Winning Representation for the Victims of Natural Gas or Propane Related Accidents
If you have been injured in a gas related explosion, the Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will aggressively fight to see that you obtain the full compensation you deserve. For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida. We seek to obtain compensation for all of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.