Gas Explosion Accident
Gas explosions can occur for a number of reasons including faulty appliances or equipment, a leak, or improper usage of a gas appliance. Gases are chemical substances, that when kept in an unstable environment or are exposed to an ignition source such as heat or fire, have to potential to explode. During an explosion, harmful chemicals may be released into the air as well as high temperatures and strong shockwaves that can cause serious damage to property and severe injuries or even death to individuals standing close by.
Gas explosions in Massachusetts can happen in a variety of settings, but most commonly occur on job sites, as a result of improper storage of gasses, worker negligence, and unsafe working environments. An employer is always responsible for keeping his or her employees safe and the workplace hazard-free. If you have suffered an injury while at work, call one of our experienced Boston Gas Explosion Attorneys at Altman & Altman to discuss your case. Workers’ Compensation Laws are supposed to guarantee benefits and compensation for any lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, to employees injured at work. Unfortunately recovering damages related to your work injury may be difficult. Additionally, explosion injuries caused by a third party and therefore would not fall under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Laws. The victim would need to file a separate claim against the manufacturer to receive benefits. The attorneys at Altman & Altman not only have nearly 50 years of experience with work related injuries, but also the resources to help you recover from your losses.Some Common type of Gas Explosions Include:
Propane: Propane is an extremely combustible gas that is most identifiable by its odor, which is added so that it can be detected should there be a leak. Propane is used in a variety of industries, but is also common in many households in appliances such as gas stoves, outdoor grills, furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioners. Usually it is transported and stored in large tanks. A propane tank will almost never spontaneously explode, rather factors such as improper maintenance, manufacturing defects, misuse or mishandling, or improper disposure are the most common causes of propane explosions.
Industrial: Industrial explosions most commonly occur in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and other facilities where chemical gasses are readily present. Explosions in these industries can happen for a variety of reasons such as accidents while transporting volatile or explosive material, fires, faulty electrical equipment, worker negligence, unsafe working conditions, and chemical spills. One of the most recent industrial explosions occurred at West Fertilizer Co. plant in West, Texas. The massive explosion killed 15 people and devastated part of the town, and polluted the air and ground with high levels of ammonia.
Residential: Gas explosions caused by boilers or furnaces, appliances, or faulty wiring are the most common causes in residential explosions. Most Massachusetts residents use either natural gas or propane boilers or furnaces to heat their home in the colder months. Modern boilers or furnaces are typically safe and run efficiently if they are installed correctly however incorrect installation, or manufacturing and design defects can pose the risk of an explosion. Homeowners are typically not responsible when a boiler or furnace explosion occurs; it is usually the fault of the manufacturer, the person(s) who installed the appliance, or the person who serviced the appliance.
Fuel Tanks: Fuel tanks are used in both residences as well as industrial businesses to store gasses such as petroleum gasoline, propane, and other types of natural gasses. Because these gasses are highly flammable and combustible, storing them properly is imperative to preventing an incident. Improper installation, design flaws, open valves, unaddressed leaks, and mishandling are the most common causes of fuel tank explosions in commercial industries. Automobile fuel tanks also have the potential to explode if they are not designed properly or are incorrectly installed or secured. Regular wear and tear, rollover or collision accidents can cause the tank to leak or even come loose and catch fire; which may increase the risk of the car exploding.
People who witness an explosion may be severely injured by flying debris, high impact, heat and smoke, or chemical inhalation. Often victims of explosions must undergo costly medical care to treat their injuries; which may lead to extensive medical bills as well as pain and suffering. Property owners, manufacturers, employers, or other individuals who caused the explosion may be held liable for any damages or injuries to other individuals, and victims may eligible for compensation.
In some cases, insurance companies will only cover certain portions of medical expenses such as rehabilitation bills and lost wages, and this coverage may not be enough. If you have suffered an injury caused by a gas explosion, whether it was at a residence or at a workplace, call the law offices of Altman & Altman and speak with an experienced Boston Gas Explosion Injury Lawyer to speak about potentially filing a case. We understand that being a victim of an explosion is not only traumatic, but confusing as well, and we have the experience and resources to help you recover any damages related to your injury. Our attorneys are available around the clock to answer any and all of your questions, and initial consultations are free of charge.