A natural gas line has exploded in Santa Fe, Texas, approximately 35 miles southeast of Houston. The accident occurred just after 6 p.m. on Thursday at Avenue M and 24th Street. Video from the scene revealed a giant ball of flames. Five workers suffered injuries from the blast, with 2 requiring an airlift with severe burn injuries. The conditions of the other three workers, who were transported by ambulance to UTMB in Galveston, are not currently known.
A fire resulting from the explosion burned for hours and crews extinguished it just after 10 p.m. A section of Highway 6 needed to be shut down to allow Life Flight to transport the two seriously injured workers to the hospital.
Who Owned the Exploded Gas Lines?
The workers were contractors working for Dayton Pipeline and were working on a project for CenterPoint Energy. The company describes itself as a “domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, and energy service operations.” It employs over 14,000 employees. CenterPoint released a statement stating that it is working closely with investigators to identify the cause of the incident.
CenterPoint Energy owned a gas line which exploded in July of 2016. The accident caused a Shreveport man to sustain burn injuries, which killed him a little under three months later. The man, who worked as a psychiatrist, was inspecting the leaking gas line in his backyard when it exploded.
At trial, CenterPoint received 80 percent of the fault for the accident, and the court awarded the family of the deceased man approximately $8 million. CenterPoint was in the process of replacing cast-iron gas lines in the area, and the lines which caused the accident were scheduled for replacement in 2017.
Authorities have not yet determined the cause of Thursday’s dangerous blast. However, gas companies know how volatile their product is, and they must take every step possible to stop accidents such as this. Arnold & Itkin’s Santa Fe gas line explosion attorneys will continue to follow this story as authorities release more details.