Our gas explosion lawyers can help you find out if Atmos Energy was responsible for a gas leak explosion that harmed you or your loved one. A lawsuit against Atmos Energy would seek compensation for you and your family and could help prevent future explosions.
Atmos Energy is a natural gas company in Dallas. It is headquartered in Dallas and distributes natural gas to people in 8 states: Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. It owns and manages one of the largest pipeline systems in Texas.
2 Men Injured in Duplex Explosion
Two men were burned when a duplex exploded in the in the 3700 block of Spring Avenue, part of the Fair Park neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. The explosion may have been caused by a gas leak, but the investigation is only preliminary at this time.
Atmos Energy turned off the gas, and its investigation has not found any evidence of gas leaks outside of the house. The cause of the blast is not yet known. Dallas Fire-Rescue is investigating.
NTSB and Atmos Energy Investigating Dallas House Explosion
On February 23, 2018, at about 6:30 in the morning, a house in the North Dallas area exploded, injuring 4 people and killing a 12-year-old child.
A family of five was asleep in the home on Espanola Drive when a gas leak explosion caused part of the house to collapse. Survivors told investigators that “the night before the explosion, they had heard ‘popping’ noises, but they were unable to discover the source” and that “they had not smelled any natural gas prior to the explosion,” according to the preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Not smelling gas prior to an explosion does not mean that a gas leak was not the cause of the explosion. The odorant added to natural gas, which is odorless, can be absorbed in to soil as it travels from a leaking pipeline to a nearby home.
Just 48 hours before this explosion, work crews from Atmos Energy were in the neighborhood investigating gas-related explosions and fires at two other residences on Durango Drive. The house on Espanola Drive and the two houses on Durango Drive shared an alleyway, and along this alleyway there is a 2-inch diameter natural gas pipeline owned and maintained by Atmos.
The first house explosion on Durango Drive happened on February 21, 2018, at about 5:49 in the morning. The resident of this house told investigators:
“About 2:00 a.m. he awoke to a ‘popping’ noise from his heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. When he went to the attic, he saw the cover plate for his HVAC unit was on the floor….He also noticed that the pilot light on the HVAC was not working. When he placed the cover plate on his HVAC unit, an explosion occurred” (NTSB Preliminary Report).
The resident at this house was thrown several feet and sustained second-degree burns.
It is only about 415 feet from the house that exploded on Espanola.
On February 22, 2018, at about 10:21 in the morning, a fire occurred at a house on Durango Drive that is was less than 310 feet from the Espanola Drive house explosion. The resident told investigators that “while he was boiling water on the stove in his kitchen, the flames from the stove were ‘red and out of control,’” according to the NTSB Preliminary Report. The person suffered second-degree burns to his right arm and leg. The fire then moved from the stove to the attic, causing significant property damage.
Before the Espanola Drive explosion, investigators had classified the Durango Drive incidents as having an undetermined cause. Now the NTSB is working on determining whether these three incidents are related. The agency has done the following:
- Inspected the Espanola Drive and Durango Drive sites;
- Pressure-tested the pipeline;
- Collected records of the pipeline operations, the company pipeline integrity management program, and the emergency response; and
- Interviewed employees of Atmos and the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department.
Three sections of the pipeline failed a pressure test, according to NTSB. One of those sections was behind the house at 3534 Espanola Drive. Further investigation found that the pipe had a circumferential crack. This section of the pipeline was sent to the NTSB metallurgical laboratory for analysis.
- “Preliminary Report Pipeline: Natural Gas-Fueled Explosion of Residence Dallas, Texas, February 23, 2018.” National Transportation Safety Board. Report Number PLD18FR002. https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/PLD18FR002-preliminary.pdf
- “Dallas House Explosion Leaves One Child Dead, Injures 4 Others.”