A massive explosion, attributed to a gas pipeline rupture, resulted in a large section of a shopping center in Plantation, Florida, being reduced to rubble. At least 20 people were injured in the blast, two very seriously. The Fountains Plaza Mall, the site of the explosion, is located just outside of Ft. Lauderdale.
Witnesses at the Scene of the Gas Line Explosion
Shoppers were enjoying an otherwise pleasant July 4th holiday weekend when the explosion ripped through the busy shopping center. A witness to the gas line explosion described the blast as being “a huge flash of light that lit up the whole sky.” Another witness to the devastating blast said the scene “looked like the Apocalypse.”
Emergency Response to Florida Gas Pipeline Explosion
Emergency personnel arrived within minutes to the scene of the Florida gas pipeline explosion. They immediately began to transport injured people from the scene to area hospitals. In addition, the were quick to comb through the rubble seeking victims that might be trapped in the debris. Ultimately, 23 people were evacuated from the scene to medical centers with injured caused as a result of the blast. One of the victims of the explosion as a child, whose age has not been revealed. Nearby hospitals reported that they were “filling up with patients” from the shopping center explosion. There were no fatalities and all hospitalized individuals are expected to recover, including those seriously injured.
Investigation into Explosion Continues
Within 24 hours, investigators were able to ascertain that the specific site of the gas pipeline explosion was a vacant pizza restaurant in the Ft. Lauderdale area shopping complex. Investigators determined that a gas pipeline ruptured, apparently causing an accumulation of gas inside the empty building.
The Risk and History of Gas Pipeline Explosions
Gas pipelines of different types crisscross the United States. These include everything from large gas distribution lines to smaller gas pipelines managed by power companies in local communities. The breadth of damage that can be caused by a rupture of a smaller gas pipeline cannot be underestimated. In recent years, these types of explosions have leveled buildings and even sections of neighborhoods in communities across the United States.
Many of these pipelines are older, a good number arguably in need of replacement which is not occurring with any sense of urgency, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration, or PHMSA. PHMSA is the federal governmental agency that collects incident reports in the United States involving gas pipelines, including events like the Florida gas pipeline explosion that destroyed a large section of a shopping center in early July 2019.
Because of an aging infrastructure, together with the ever-expanding web of gas pipelines across the country, the risk of explosions like those that have occurred at large plants as well as in commercial and residential neighborhoods is expected to continue apace into the future. There also has been at least some regulatory loosening that has occurred in the past couple of years that arguably may enhance the risk of gas pipeline explosions in different locations in the United States.
Gas Pipeline Explosion Lawyer: Protecting the Rights of Injured People
The Florida blast is only the latest example of a violent gas pipeline explosion that caused extensive damage and serious injuries. Fortunately, the Florida gas pipeline explosion resulted in no known fatalities. Nonetheless, oftentimes people injured in a gas pipeline explosion not only suffer immediate wounds but are afflicted with long-term injuries and even disabilities. For these reasons, a person injured in a blast like that in Florida best protects his or her long-term interests by engaging the services of a skilled, experienced gas pipeline explosion lawyer, like a member of the legal team at The Doan Law Firm.
The Doan Law Firm has set up a gas pipeline explosion lawyer hotline at (800) 349-000 which serves injured people across the United States. The firm has offices located across the country and can also schedule an initial appointment at a person’s home or even at the hospital. A virtual consultation can be scheduled online.
The Doan Law Firm has a gas pipeline explosion lawyer fee promise. The firm never charges a fee unless we win a favorable settlement or judgment for a client. Simply, no fee unless we win for you.