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Causes of Home Gas Explosions
The deadly recent Pottstown home explosion that killed a grandmother and four children is under investigation, but news reports say finding the cause could take as long as a year.
There was speculation that the explosion was caused by some sort of gas, based on footage from the incident. Neighbors also reported smelling gas in the days before the explosion. However, PECO representatives say there’s no evidence that the utility’s gas lines caused the explosion.
Experts cite natural and propane gas as two possibilities: if either gas is in a basement or other enclosed space, it can explode with the right conditions. Gas leaks can travel underground through crevices and even tunnels dug by animals.
What are the statistics on gas and propane explosions? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released its most recent report in 2018. There were an estimated 4,200 home fires started by natural gas, causing an average of 40 deaths annually. Gas leaks were factors in 20% of the fires and 54% of the deaths, according to the report. Other causes included mechanical failures, such as worn-out parts, which contributed to 27% of the fires and 3% of the deaths. Heating equipment was the source in 35% of the fires and 41% of the deaths. Although cooking equipment was involved in 54% of the fires, it accounted for only 10% of the deaths.
While homeowners can take some safety steps to protect a home, someone else’s negligence can affect factors completely out of your control and have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident like this and would like to talk to an attorney experienced in litigation involving explosions and burn injuries, please contact us to set a time to discuss your legal options.