Five were injured July 31 after a natural gas explosion leveled a house in North Franklin Township, Pennsylvania, outside of Pittsburgh. According to WTAE, the homeowner and three volunteer firefighters were injured and sent to the hospital. The scene was nothing but debris littering the property where the house once stood.
Columbia Gas has taken responsibility for the incident, saying it was the result of a planning oversight. The house was included in a project to upgrade gas mains in the area, but as it was located on another street from the main project, it was partially overlooked. A regulator was not installed, so when the new system was switched on, excess pressure caused a leak that led to the explosion. The township has invited Columbia Gas to answer questions from the community Aug. 13 at the local fire department.
The company issued an apology, but local officials say this is not enough. North Franklin Township issued a cease-and-desist order against Columbia Gas the next day, preventing it from doing any work there. Township supervisor Bob Sabot called the oversight “incredibly irresponsible and … incredibly negligent.” Sabot has demanded that Columbia Gas pay for cleanup and repairs to the area impacted by the explosion.
With Columbia Gas admitting fault in the incident, the homeowner and other injured parties may be entitled to compensation. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a natural gas explosion, you may be entitled to reimbursement for hospital bills, lost wages, lost personal property, and more. Contact Morgan & Morgan for a free consultation to discuss your options.