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Gas Explosion Injures 20 and Damages Buildings in Springfield

Posted By Arnold & Itkin || 26-Nov-2012

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on a sidewalk that indicted the location of the gas line under the pavement, and was not aware that these markings were out of date.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 debris a 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.

Client's portion of total recovery may be subject to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement claims, Medicare/Medicaid liens or other third-party claims or liens. These verdicts and settlements are intended to be representative of cases handled by Arnold & Itkin, LLP. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims.

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