Injuries From The Massive Gas Explosion. Did you suffer damages or personal injuries from the massive natural gas explosion in Allentown, Pennsylvania? The Allentown natural gas explosion on February 9, 2011 killed five people and destroyed eight homes. Our Allentown natural gas explosion lawyers are already investigating the blast, and intend to hold all responsible parties accountable for the damage and misery caused by this disaster.Our Allentown natural gas explosion lawyers are offering free consultations to victims of this blast. If you or a loved one was injured in this explosion, or you sustained property damage, we urge you to contact one of our Allentown natural gas explosion lawyers today to protect your legal rights.
Allentown Natural Gas Explosion
The Allentown natural gas explosion occurred around 10:45 p.m. when a suspected natural gas leak in the 500 Block of North 13th Street ignited, sparking a fire that burned into the morning. The explosion involved a 12-inch underground gas line that lacked shut-off valves. As a result, the gas feeding the massive fire was not shut off until 3:45 a.m. the next morning, and the fire was brought under control by 4:30 a.m.
The blast killed five people including two children. The dead included a 4-month-old boy, a 16-year-old girl, a 69-year-old woman, a 79-year-old man and a 74-year-old woman. Eight homes were completely destroyed by the explosion and fire. Another 47 properties, including 10 businesses, sustained damage. About 350 people were evacuated from the area, including 165 seniors who were moved away from a senior apartment complex. They were later returned safely.
It is not yet known what caused the Allentown natural gas explosion. A spokesperson for Reading-based UGI Utilities said a routine leak-detection test in that area the day prior to the blast had come up clean, and there had been no calls about gas odors before the disaster. Investigators planned to send cameras through the main to look for cracks and perform air-pressure tests on the service lines.
The pipeline involved in the explosion was a cast-iron pipe installed in 1928, making it 83-years-old. The National Transportation Safety Board has warned in the past that such cast-iron pipes are subject to decay and in some cases in need of replacement. The federal Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 envisions replacement of such pipelines with safer materials, such as steel.