Officials in Baltimore, Maryland, say that a significant gas explosion of three homes killed one person and injured at least three others. The houses located near Reisterstown Station, just behind Reisterstown Plaza shopping center, earlier this morning. Of the three homes destroyed, the explosion destroyed the home of a U.S. Army veteran, Major Watkins Jr. 88-years-old and Caroline Youngblood 90-years-old.
The Baltimore Sun say the exact cause of this gas explosion was not immediately clear. Rescue crews, just before noon, found a woman buried in the rubble. 200 rescue personnel were on the scene. Police are warning people to avoid the area because the gas leak remains active. Another person was buried in rubble, one person was hiding in a closet, and one man reported hearing children shout they were trapped.
Neighbors reported their windows were blown out, and doors flew off their hinges. Additionally, local residents reported feeling the blast from several miles away.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company were called by the fire department around 9:50 am to have their crews arrive at the scene. BGE reported they are attempting to turn off the gas to the buildings because once the gas is off, they can assess the situation and BGE equipment.
The exact cause of the explosion is unclear; however, many gas lines in the Baltimore area need serious repairs. The number of leaks reported increased by 75 percent from 2009 to 2016 due to the failure of pipe joints from the 1950s and 60s. The homes destroyed date back to around the 1960s. The amount of residents using natural gas has increased by 3.5 percent in the past five years.
The investigation of what caused the explosion is undergoing.
Maryland attorney Aaron Blank, an experienced gas explosion lawyer, represents people who have suffered injuries caused by negligence. We asked Aaron to share some insight on the legal options of families affected by gas explosions at home.
Natural gas companies have a responsibility to ensure their businesses are run safely. These companies must provide regular maintenance and safety inspections to make sure their communities are safe. If gas pipeline systems are not in safe working conditions or poorly maintained, explosions can occur. These explosions can result in deaths, injuries, and property damage.
If a family is affected by natural gas explosions, they may have a claim and can file a lawsuit against the gas company. A family could have a claim if the explosion is determined to have been a result of the company’s negligence. A claim could help provide compensation for the victims suffering from property damage, medical bills, and evacuation costs.
Determining the cause of a natural gas explosion is a complicated process. Victims suffering from severe or fatal injuries or if a family’s home has been damaged in a natural gas explosion may have a claim and should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.