Questions That Need Answers
The negligence of a gas company can lead to severe injuries and wrongful death. When this happens, it is important to vigorously pursue the truth.
- Was the correct amount of ethyl mercaptan added to the LP gas?
- How was the LP transported and stored prior to being used to fill the tank that exploded?
- What kind of tank was it and how old was it?
- Was the tank examined to for problems that could lead to a leak?
- How was the tank filled?
- How much propane was put into the tank?
- How much training did the technician who filled the tank have?
- How long had it been since the last filling?
- Were the valves working correctly?
- Was the tank serviced enough and carefully?
- At any time did someone call the company about a strange odor?
These are just a few of the multitude of questions that need answers when someone is critically burned in a house explosion.
You can use our free consultation form to contact our propane explosion lawyers about a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death.
Can I Sue for a House Explosion?
What is Odor Fade?
Because propane, liquid petroleum (LP) gas, in its natural state is odorless and undetectable, unodorized LP presents an exceptionally high explosion risk in the event of a leak. To combat this risk, a “stench gas” (ethyl mercaptan) with an instantly-recognizable rotten-egg-like odor is added to LP as an odorant.
Maintaining odorant in LP is crucial, so there are basic steps which must taken to ensure that odor fade does not occur. In particular, odor fade a known risk in tanks which are new or are not in continuous use. In such situations, ethyl mercaptan in the LP can bind to the interior surface of the tank, decreasing the amount of odorant. If enough odorant is absorbed by the tank surface, the gas again becomes odorless. This is what we alleged happened in this case.
A new tank was delivered to a residence and then allegedly filled to only 30% of capacity. At some point, LP escaped, although the source of the leak has never been determined. By the time it leaked, the gas’s lack of odorant made it undetectable and deprived all those in its vicinity of any warning of its presence. When our client lit a match, he had no idea of the danger he faced due to the presence of odorless LP. As a result, the gas ignited, causing the blast.