Chicago Apartment Explosion Kills 1, Injures 7 [Updated]

If you or a loved one suffered burn injuries in an apartment explosion, you may be entitled to significant compensation. The Pritzker Hageman Explosion Lawyers help burn victims and their families pursue compensation and justice in cases throughout the United States.

Updated September 26 with investigation details after the cause was determined to be natural gas.

An apartment explosion on Chicago’s West Side sent eight people to the hospital with burn injuries on Tuesday. Sadly, 29-year-old Shabron Robinson died from extensive burns he suffered in the blast.

At least 10 ambulances were sent to the four-story apartment building at 5601 W West End Avenue in the South Austin neighborhood. The apartment explosion was deemed a “mass casualty incident.” Eight people, including two women and six men, were transported to local hospitals including Loyola University Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, West Suburban Medical Center, and Stroger Hospital. Two burn victims are in serious to critical condition and five others are in fair to serious condition.

According to the Chicago Fire Department, Robinson suffered the most serious injuries with burns on over 90% of his body. He had been fighting for his life at Loyola University Medical Center before his tragic death was confirmed on Thursday, September 23.

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Did Natural Gas Cause the Chicago Apartment Explosion?

Officials have been investigating the scene since the blast occurred. On Friday, September 24, cause and origin investigators determined that the “ignition of natural gas” and “improper use of an appliance” caused the Chicago apartment explosion.

Cause and origin investigations are crucial to determine liability in an explosion lawsuit. Through lawsuit investigations, our gas explosion legal team has found liability for things like failure to comply with safety regulations, product defects, and failure to protect against gas leaks.

Peoples Gas issued a statement that their investigators have no reason to believe their equipment or natural gas service caused the explosion. The statement also says that “gas piping and appliances inside the building are the responsibility of building management and/or residents.”

Local reporters and eyewitnesses have suspected from the start that a natural gas leak caused the explosion. One neighbor told CBS News that her bed “shook almost like an earthquake” and that she smelled natural gas outside.

The explosion originated on the top floor of the building. Video from the Chicago Fire Department shows a massive amount of bricks and other debris in front of the building. Several windows were blown out, the roof of at least one unit collapsed, and three cars parked on the street were damaged.

West End Apartments Failed Dozens of Inspections Before Explosion

Records show that the apartment building on W West End Avenue failed its last twelve inspections since 2010. There have been citations in January 2017 and February 2018 for “failing to repair or replace defective or out of service smoke detectors and operate continuously.”

The building owner, Roman Viere with Urban Alternatives rental properties, issued a statement that says, “We are doing everything we can to cooperate with emergency services, and we are ready to do whatever we can to support our residents.”

Urban Alternatives say they plan to transfer rent and deposits for residents to cover expenses at their new homes. All residents have been able to find alternative housing with their pets. Thirty-one of the 36 units were occupied when the apartment exploded.

Gas Explosion Lawyers Help Burn Injury Victims Get Justice and Compensation

Our award-winning team of gas explosion lawyers helps burn survivors and their families get the justice and compensation they deserve. We have the resources and experience to go up against large companies to win hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients in apartment fire and explosion lawsuits.

When a death is involved, family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While no amount of money could ever make up for your tragic loss, an explosion wrongful death lawsuit will help your family hold wrongdoers accountable and secure compensation for your future.

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