A Pennsylvania family lost five loved ones when their Pottstown house exploded last Thursday, sending two others to the hospital. France White (67), Alana Wood (13), Jeremiah White (12), Nehemiah White (10), and Tristan White (8) died in the house explosion on 453/455 Hale Street. Eugene White (33) and Kristina Matuzsan (32) were critically injured.
The family moved to Pottstown from Philadelphia, hoping to raise their children away from the city. A neighbor described them as a “really good family.” Another family member set up a Go Fund Me page for support.
Did a Gas Leak Cause the Pottstown House Explosion?
The cause of the Pottstown house explosion is still under investigation. Crews from PECO Energy have been on-site inspecting natural gas mains, service lines leading to properties, natural gas meters, customer-owned appliances, and customer-owned pipes.
Several neighbors reported smelling gas before the explosion. Crews are investigating the following possible causes of the Pottstown house explosion:
- Propane tank leak: The Pottstown Fire Department found a nearly undamaged propane tank in the debris of the explosion site. AmeriGas confirmed the presence of a propane tank on the property. Propane usually explodes when a valve leaks, causing the gas to sink into the ground and find its way into an enclosed space.
- Natural gas leak – While neither side of the duplex that exploded had natural gas service, there was a gas main in the street, where a leak could have migrated inside the house through an underground pathway. A representative from PECO Energy says a preliminary investigation found no evidence that PECO’s gas lines caused the house explosion.
A spokesperson from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Safety Division says an investigation could take up to a year. An investigation is crucial to determine what caused the explosion and find liability for things like failure to follow clearly established statutes and regulations, product defects, and failure to protect against odor fade. Attorney Eric Hageman, who leads our explosion legal team says, “It can take months to put together the pieces with the hope of finding answers to help protect others in the future.”
Can I Sue a Gas Company for a House Explosion?
Yes. You can sue a gas company for a house explosion if there is evidence that the company’s negligence caused the explosion. When a death is involved, families may have a wrongful death claim against that company. While no amount of money could ever make up for your family’s loss, filing a wrongful death lawsuit will help you get justice and compensation for your loved one’s death.
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Pritzker Hageman is one of the few law firms in the country with experience representing burn injury survivors and families who lost a loved one. Our burn injury lawyers have won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, including some of the largest recoveries in U.S. history.