West Virginia Gas Pipe Explosion

Gas explosions can result in wrongful death, serious injury, emotional pain and suffering, and major destruction. St. Louis Gas Explosion Lawyer

Pipeline safety is an immediate concern that more people are becoming aware of after the December 11, 2012 gas explosion in Sissonville, West Virginia.  The pipe corroded over time, losing about 70 percent of its thickness.  The current chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, maintains that the age of the pipes is not an issue as long as they are inspected and maintained regularly.  Underground pipelines were for the most part installed around or before 1970 and require proper maintenance in order to stay safe and protect the homes around them. In the West Virginia gas explosion, no one died, but four homes were destroyed. The terrifying incident calls to light the major issues the 2.5 million miles of natural gas pipeline that already is in place all across the U.S.  So much of that pipeline, about half, was put in place when safety standards were different from what they are today.  These pipes need to be inspected on a regular basis – law dictates that every seven years is a minimum, but pipes that are situated in highly populated zones should be looked at more frequently.

A Senate panel and government regulators convened in West Virginia to hear statements from individuals involved in the explosion and to discuss other issues regarding pipeline safety and maintenance, like the need to balance this necessity with the current switch to more reliance on shale gas. The panel heard the story of Sue Bonham, who feared she would suffocate when her home was on fire.  It took the operators, Columbia Gas Transmission, 60 minutes to shut off the gas during the accident, and the company has a record of safety violations.

While the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration says that even with more energy usage, accidents with pipelines are decreasing.  Still, explosions and other pipeline accidents still take place.  The West Virginia explosion follows another pipeline explosion that occurred 2 years prior in California.  That accident was disastrous and incredibly destructive and resulted in 9 deaths and 38 homes were razed.  It is encouraging to hear that these incidents are on the decline, but the fact of the matter is that people do experience these horrible events, and the destruction, pain and suffering, and the cost to those who live through these events are huge. Even more terrible is that some individuals do not survive, and these explosions cost them their lives.

St. Louis Gas Explosion Lawyers

Zevan and Davidson is a trial law firm with a track record of obtaining results in high-stakes catastrophic personal injury cases in St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois. Our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in a wide range of legal matters, including gas explosion.

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photo credit: Morgali Photography

Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer

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