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Long Island, New York House Explosion Kills Infant, Injures Scores More

Published August 16, 2012 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

On the heels of an explosion caused by a propane tank in Wilson last week, another house in New York exploded leaving a pile of debris and rubble in its wake. The explosion in Long Island resulted in the death of an 18-month-old boy and injuries to nearly 20 people, according to news reports.

Among the injured were: five residents of the house, an insurance agent who had been investigating a flooding claim, a plumber, seven police officers, two firefighters and three neighbors.

Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the explosion that left the houses on either side of the destroyed house condemned due to extensive damage to those structures as well. Although the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, authorities found two 200-pound propane tanks in the debris. Natural gas was not used in that house or neighboring structures.

Adding Propane to a House

The owners of the house may have been using the propane tanks to add propane to the home. According to New York Propane, propane has “quite a remarkable safety record, due in large part to the stringent codes and regulations developed by the propane industry.” Propane or LP gas can be used to cook with, to light the house and to heat the house, among other uses, and is touted as being cheaper and more efficient than electricity. As a result, many homeowners enhance their house to use gas as an energy source.

Anytime a house is converted to propane gas, a professionally trained installation team should be used. Installation requires selection of properly-sized tanks, proper placement of a concrete pad for holding the tank, and proper running of the lines. None of this work can be done, however, until all the appropriate permits are applied for and accepted. At the end of the installation a safety inspection must be passed prior to using the gas.

Although propane gas can be safely used as a fuel source, it is important for homeowners and residents to know what to do in the case of a gas leak. Propane is typically odorless, however, an additive that smells like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal is added to help detect a leak.

The Propane Education and Research Council suggests the following steps if you or a family member smells propane:

  • Immediately extinguish all smoking materials and other open flames, and do not operate lights, appliances or phones.
  • Leave the area immediately – get out of the building.
  • Turn off the main gas valve on the propane tank.
  • Report the leak to your propane retailer and your local fire department.
  • Do not return to the area unless it is deemed safe by a trained responder.

Once again, our Binghamton personal injury attorneys urge all New York homeowners to stay alert to the potential dangers of propane gas. While the gas is a safe energy fuel source, it is highly flammable and tanks and connector hoses must be properly maintained. If you or anyone in the house notice a gaseous smell, please follow the recommendations listed above and report it immediately.

If you have been injured, or lost a loved one, due to a fire or explosion that was the result of faulty equipment or negligence by another party, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a NY personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights.

Contact Our Binghamton Injury Law Attorneys Today

Experience counts. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to another person’s carelessness, contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, to help. Our New York personal injury law office handles all types of accident, injury and medical malpractice cases.

As you work on recovering from your injuries, let our Binghamton, New York accident attorney’s office take care of the rest, including the paperwork, insurance documents and other legal issues related to your accident. Contact our personal injury attorney today at (607) 304-4121 or use our online contact form. There is no charge for the consultation.

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