It has been five years since residents of a California town had their world turned upside down from a sudden and unexpected explosion. Some industrial workers' accidents can have long-lasting effects on a community. Recently, the question was raised whether those nearby are now better off since that time.
The tragedy struck in Sept. 2010. One resident remembers all the air being suddenly drawn out of her living room when the explosion hit. The blast came from a nearby pipeline of the PG&E natural gas terminal. An electrical failure was said to have been the cause of the gas-line explosion, which left a 72-foot crater in its wake. Three thousand feet of pipeline soared 100 feet into the air.
Sadly, eight people died in the explosion and the fire that ensued afterward. Thirty eight area homes were completely destroyed, and 70 other homes sustained substantial damage. There were also 58 reported injuries to those who were in the vicinity of the explosion. A state senator blamed executives from PG&E, saying that they failed to perform according to appropriate levels of safety standards and had diverted hundreds of millions of dollars away from proper maintenance and testing on the systems.
The California utility company was fined $1.6 billion in connection with the incident. New testing and regulations have been ordered on 1,800 miles of pipeline. Families of employees die in industrial workers' accidents would understandably have many questions and concerns in the aftermath of a tragedy. Contacting a workers' compensation lawyer would be a logical first step to take in seeking answers to those questions and determining how best to proceed in order to seek compensation for damages on behalf of their loved ones.
Source: ww2.kqed.org, "Five Years After Deadly San Bruno Explosion: Are We Safer?", Rebecca Bowe, Lisa Pickoff-White, Sept. 8, 2015