Gas Pipeline that Caused Catastrophic Chandler Explosion Should Have Been Replaced

The Doan Law Firm previously reported on the Chandler gas pipeline explosion accident, a blast that resulted in four people in a print shop suffering significant injuries. The victims were all severely burned as a result of the devastating gas pipeline explosion, one of then only very recently coming out of a coma.

News associated with the Chandler gas pipeline explosion has taken yet another grim turn. Investigation into the blast has revealed that Southwest Gas, the company providing gas service to Chandler, Arizona residents and businesses knew that the type of gas pipeline involved in the explosion needed to be replaced. Southwest Gas knew that this type of gas pipeline was subject to premature degradation.

As a consequence, this type of gas pipeline was subject to dangerous leaks. In fact, the Chandler gas pipeline explosion was caused precisely because of this identified pipe degradation.

Having knowledge of the dangerous nature of this type of gas pipeline, Southwest Gas had been replacing these lines throughout the city. The gas service company maintains that a clerical error had not included the print shop on the list of locations that required a gas pipeline replacement to avoid precisely the catastrophic incident that occurred at the end of August.

Some key facts about what Southwest Gas knew about the gas pipeline in question before the Chandler explosion is illustrative of issues surrounding risks posed to consumers in Arizona and across the country:

  • The gas pipeline in question is known as Driscopipe 8000
  • Driscopipe 8000 is not to be used in dessert climates, like in Arizona
  • The product is not to be used in dessert climates because the dry heat causes premature degradation of a pipeline
  • Premature degradation results in dangerous leaks
  • Dangerous leaks result in explosions
  • Nonetheless, Southwest Gas and customers of the company installed the climatically inappropriate pipe from 1978 through 1999
  • Some effort has been made to remove the dangerous gas pipeline but that process is not complete, as the Chandler blast confirms
  • As of early 2019, Southwest Gas reported that there had been 129 identified gas leaks arising from the degradation of this type of gas pipeline
  • Undoubtedly, there are more residences and businesses in Chandler and elsewhere in Arizona that remain connected to this type of dangerous gas pipeline

Although Southwest Gas contends a clerical error prevented the timely removal of the dangerous gas pipeline at the Chandler printshop, a but of investigation reveals that an error was found in construction records. Moreover, no one from the company had performed any type of visual inspection of the gas pipeline servicing the printshop that exploded. Such an inspection would have resulted in the proper identification of the type of pipeline providing gas service to this particular business.

In the aftermath of the Chandler gas pipeline explosion accident, Southwest Gas announced:

“We are confident that we are taking all appropriate measures to protect against any similar instances of human error in reporting,” the company added. We are taking prompt action to implement a new remediation plan that includes extensive leak inspections, including mobile leak patrols and walking leak patrols of similarly sized pipe installations of all pipe types installed in 1999-2001.”

If you or a loved one have been injured in a gas pipeline explosion, The legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. A nationwide law firm, we can schedule an initial consultation with an experienced, dedicated gas pipeline explosion lawyer at any one of our 40 offices located from coast to coast. We can also arrange a case evaluation with a gas pipeline explosion lawyer online as well. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and case evaluation with a member The Doan Law Firm gas explosion accident team.

You can schedule an appointment with a Doan Law Office gas pipeline explosion accident attorney any time by calling us at (800) 349-0000. Our gas pipeline explosion lawyer telephone line is staffed around the clock, 365 days a year, including all major holidays.

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