Propane Explosion Accident Attorney
Propane gas is an explosive, odorless fuel that is used for many different purposes including as a vehicle fuel, in cooking, barbecuing, heating water, and heating houses. Propane used for commercial or residential applications needs to be handled carefully and industry safety regulations must be followed. In order to be maintained in the form of gas, propane needs to be pressurized and stored in tanks. When the gas is vaporized, it is much heavier than air and can pool quickly in low areas outside in ditches, in crawlspaces and basements, along the floor, and near the ground.
If a propane tank leaks, this gas can become highly flammable and easily can be ignited by static electricity, fire, smoking material, or an electrical spark. Since there is no natural odor to propane, a chemical additive called ethyl mercaptan is mixed together with gas in order to emit a strong sulfuric (rotten egg) smell to warn people to immediately evacuate the area.
A propane explosion may occur anywhere when flammable gas is not handled correctly. That includes propane tank explosions and fires at construction sites, private residences, or commercial buildings. Explosions may be the result of failing to adhere to industry-standard safety regulations, a leak forming in the piping or tank, or piping coming loose.
Propane Gas Explosion Causes
Propane is a hydrocarbon and therefore needs to be stored in liquid form under compression inside of a heavy-duty tank and vaporized in the form of a gas that can be burned. However, due to the pressure inside of the tank, there is always a potentially high risk that an explosion will occur.
When propane gas is mixed in the air with oxygen, it becomes highly flammable. Propane explosions often are the result of unsafe practices including:
Failing to perform the proper measures when refilling tanks which include forgetting to reignite a pilot light in a residential or commercial appliance
Improperly installing gas stoves, clothes dryers, and other types of gas appliances
Maintaining a propane gas tank improperly, like failing to properly maintain propane gas system components or failing to replace a worn-out regulator
No labeling, mislabeled, or insufficiently labeled equipment
Inadequate inspections of a propane gas tank that need to be conducted by a propane gas supplier
Gas being delivered that doesn’t contain sufficient added chemical odorants, according to federal industry and Illinois safety requirements
Propane tank leaks that are caused by faulty or rusty cylinders, perished hoses, blocked cooktop burners, malfunctioning flow valves, broken gauges, or malfunctioning safety valves
Fires and grill explosions
Many propane explosion victims did not have any prior warning since they didn’t smell any emission of the added chemical odorant. If there is no noticeable smell in leaking propane may be caused by the gas losing its odor via the process of odorant fading.” Fading odor, in fact, of the additive frequently is the result of a company not filling the tank properly to its full capacity or a tank is not properly maintained, which leaves it exposed to moisture and rust.
Severe Injuries Associated With Burns
Propane tank explosions and fires may cause serious injuries, as well as an increased chance of wrongful death. If the propane tank and the delivery system is not properly inspected, victims are at higher risk of receiving third-degree burns that are caused by malfunctioning or broken equipment. The following are some of the most common serious burns that occur in propane gas explosions:
Traumatic extremity, torso, and head injuries
Being exposed to very toxic gas vapors
Third- and second-degree burns
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer to Represent You In Your Propane Explosion Case
In many cases, a propane gas tank fire is often caused due to safety codes or practices being violated, not providing personnel who deliver or maintain propane gas with the proper safety training, improper storage of the equipment or tank, failing to warn, or malfunctioning or defective product.
An experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in propane gas explosions will be able to determine what the cause of an accident was. Component manufacturers and propane companies often try to deny a defect issue or hide their guilt. However, a gas explosion lawyer can determine which parties are at fault, and make sure they are held accountable for their actions.
The propane explosion often causes life-altering traumatic injuries. Due to that, our Injury Attorneys work on half of our clients to file a lawsuit or claim for financial recompense. The compensation may be used to pay medical bills, recover money from missed work, and offers financial assistance for pain and suffering. Call to talk with our propane explosion attorneys today.