The National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, has completed an exhaustive investigation of multiple Dallas gas explosions that occurred over the course of a week and devastated a neighborhood near Love Field. The bottom-line determination of the NTSB, a federal investigatory agency, is that the deadly gas explosion that occurred after the first Love Field neighborhood blast was preventable if Atmos Energy had undertaken appropriate action.
While the Dallas gas explosions at issue did occur almost three years ago, the investigation has revealed a widespread and extremely dangerous problem that exists throughout the city, likely across Texas, and throughout the United States. As will be discussed more fully in a moment, in the area around Love Field alone, Atmos Energy identified 1,260 natural gas line leaks with the potential to cause the same level of devastating damage as occurred in the Dallas neighborhood that is the immediate subject of the investigation.
The intensive NTSB investigation into the Dallas gas explosion began in the aftermath of a highly destructive explosion in this neighborhood near Love Field. The first Dallas gas explosion in this area destroyed two homes, killed one person, and injured four others. Within a week of that accident, a second massive explosion occurred, destroying yet another house in the same neighborhood and killing a 12-year-old-girl.
As mentioned, the NTSB conducted an intensive investigation for over two years, releasing the detailed and important results of the survey at the beginning of 2021. The federal investigation of the pair of Dallas natural gas explosions that destroyed multiple homes arose from a degraded steel gas pipeline running underneath an alley. According to investigators, the natural gas pipeline was dented over 20 years earlier by heavy equipment that used to replace a sewer line.
Over the course of more than two decades, the degraded pipeline permitted natural gas to migrate through the soil, eventually into the houses that exploded. In each the case of each of the fatal Dallas Love Field gas explosions, the investigators were unable to pinpoint what exactly sparked the blasts.
The reason why this investigation about the circumstances of these explosions from a few years ago isn’t proverbial “old news” is because this is a persistent and pervasive problem today, at the beginning of 2021. As referenced a moment ago, during the course of the NTSB investigation, 1,260 similar natural gas pipeline leaks were discovered in and around the Love Field neighborhood. An unknown number of these leaks are likely resulting in the same type of natural gas soil migration mentioned a moment ago, exposing an unknown number of people to the risk of injury and even death from explosions like those that occurred in the Dallas Love Field Neighborhood.
Investigators made clear that the provider of gas services to the neighborhood in question, Atmos Energy, bears responsibility for the fatal blasts, particular the second one. Atmos Energy failed to take appropriate corrective action following the first fatal explosion. In addition, the NTSB made a broad and piercing conclusion that “all together it is endemic of an organization (Atmos Energy) that is not properly managing its pipeline system,”
If you’ve been injured in an explosion accident, or if you’ve lost a family member in this type of catastrophic incident, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. A nationwide law practice, The Doan Law Firm has 40 offices located from coast to coast across the country, including multiple locations in Texas. You can connect with our firm any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000. You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all major holidays.
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