In Springfield, Massachusetts, locals were out on the town as a part of
the holiday weekend when they were confronted by a terrifying blast. More
than 20 people were taken to the hospital after a massive gas explosion.
Most of these injured people were gas line workers who rushed to the scene
of the accident to see if they could prevent combustion. There were also
firefighters and police officers at the scene who ducked for cover when
the gas leak turned into a ball of fire.
Many of these rescue teams received burns and lacerations from glass shards
that showered the streets after the boom. A gas truck that was at the
scene was demolished in seconds. The authorities say that they are thankful
and shocked that no one was killed in the incident. The flare-up also
damaged 42 buildings. Many of these buildings were recently repaired after
a damaging tornado which swept through the area in 2011. Witnesses say
that they heard a massive boom as the strip club burst into flames and
glass flew all over the street. Some onlookers may have been harmed by
these sharp shards of glass which went flying through the air. According
to a local
Springfield news station, the fire trucks were already present at the time of the explosion.
USA Today reports that the explosion is the result of an honest mistake; a utility
worker was looking for a leak in a high-pressure pipeline, but accidentally
punctured the line in the process. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan investigated
the incident and discovered that the blast was caused by “human
error.” While he didn’t name the Columbia Gas Company worker
who caused the incident, he implied that this man should not be blamed
for the fiasco. Further research showed that the worker was following
proper procedure when the gas line exploded. Unfortunately, the Columbia
Gas Company employee was following older markings on a sidewalk that indicted
the location of the gas line under the pavement, and was not aware that
these markings were out of date. Instead, he should have followed a new
set of markings that were less visible.
The worker was a safe distance from the line when he pulled out a metal
tool and probe for a leak. Unfortunately, because the markings were incorrect,
he punctured the line instead of fixing the leak that already existed.
This caused a flood of gas to build up in a nearby building which is home
to a popular Massachusetts strip club. At this point, someone detected
the stench of the natural gas and called 911. When the fire department
determined that there was significant danger, they began a thorough evacuation
of surrounding areas. Some sort of spark, whether from pyrotechnics or
a cigarette, reacted with the gas buildup and caused the entire strip
club and surrounding areas to go up in flames. While investigators are
still trying to determine the source of fire that caused the accident,
they are not sure if they will ever be able to determine this fact. The
Department of Public Utilities intends to continue probing the case.
The president of the Columbia Gas Company, Steve Bryant, told USA Today
that the employee ordered an evacuation of the strip club. The Columbia
Gas Company is sympathetic to those who were injured in the explosion,
and is setting up a claims center at the City Hall for residents and businesses
that were affected by the explosion. Many people will want compensation
for their medical bills or will want money to repair their offices and
buildings because of the gas company’s mistake.
Columbia says that this was a very unusual circumstance and took precise
positioning to cause a gas leak that resulted in an explosion. They say
that they are shocked that the employee managed to cause the gas leak,
but are certain that it was unintentional. Preliminary reports show that
there are 42 buildings which have been wrecked by the blast, and at least
115 residential units were affected. Three buildings near the blast have
been condemned and 24 others will require additional inspections by structural
engineers to determine whether or not they are safe for habitation. Those
who were left without homes after the accident may take shelter at charitable
locations while they negotiate with the gas company about compensation
and talk to their insurance companies.
The building where the Scores Gentleman’s Club was located was completely
destroyed in the accident. The Springfield Fire Commissioner praised the
efforts of the firemen who were able to evacuate so many that were in
danger. Thankfully, officials have determined that there are no more gas
leaks in the city. If you were a victim of this horrific tragedy, and
were either harmed in the incident or lost your home as a result, then
you need to hire a personal injury attorney today to help you. At Arnold
& Itkin, we have the knowledge and experience to take on your Springfield
gas explosion case.
We have recovered more than $1 billion for clients who deserved compensation
after a debilitating injury or loss of housing. We focus on
industrial injury accidents so we can help you to the best of our ability. Whether you experienced a
head injury a
blunt force trauma injury from
severed limb or a
burn you need an attorney to come to your aid. Whether you were a bystander
who was injured in an unexpected explosion or a worker on-the-job who
was harmed when the accident occurred, you can obtain the money that you
need to cover medical costs, lost wages during recovery, and any other
expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your accident.
Arnold & Itkin are included on the
Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ list because of their noteworthy accomplishments in personal injury and
industrial injury law. As well, they have been named by H Texas Magazine
as the “Top Lawyers for the People.” With so many credentials,
you can rest assured that Arnold & Itkin are the firm for you! Contact
them today to get even more information about representation or to setup
a free case evaluation If Arnold & Itkin is the right firm for you,
you can be sure that you will be working with a dedicated attorney who
only wants to give you the best and give you the compensation that you deserve.