Propane tanks are used all over the country for many different purposes. Some families use propane to heat their homes and their water. Many people use propane to fuel backyard barbeque grills. Liquid propane gas is stored as a compressed liquid that can leak out as flammable gas and be ignited with a single spark. Propane tank fires and explosions lead to serious and fatal injuries every year. If negligence caused a fatal propane tank accident, surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim for compensation. For more information, contact the Dallas propane tank explosion attorneys at The Lenahan Law Firm.
The Alternative Fuels Safety Department of the Texas Railroad Commission is charged with adopting and enforcing regulations for the safe use, transportation, and storage of propane gas, as stated by the Railroad Commission (RRC). Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) safety rules, as published by RRC, apply to design, construction, location and operation of propane gas systems, appliances, and equipment. Among other factors, these regulations determine acceptable locations for propane tank installation, distance requirements, point of transfer distance requirements, and relief valve distances, as stated in the safety rules.
Liability for wrongful death caused by a propane tank explosion will depend on whose negligence caused the accident.
- If the explosion occurred on someone else’s private or public property and resulted from negligence, the landlord may be liable.
- If the accident was caused by improper installation, filling, or servicing of a propane tank, the company or party that performed the service may be liable for wrongful death.
- If the explosion was caused by a defective tank or part, the manufacturer may be liable.
Massive propane tank explosions can cause fatal burns and blunt force trauma injuries. For example, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) investigated the deaths of two volunteer firefighters in a propane tank explosion, as reported by CDC. The fire was started when an ATV struck unprotected external piping from the tank, causing a leak, and the vapors were ignited by a nearby pilot flame. While firefighters were working to contain the fire, the tank exploded, and flying pieces struck and killed two men instantly. Six other firefighters and a deputy sheriff were also injured.
Under Texas law, the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased may seek compensation in a wrongful death claim. Dependents may claim damages for a range of losses, including:
- Medical expenses related to the final injury of the deceased
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost earning capacity of the deceased
- Lost care, maintenance, support, services, advice, and counsel the deceased would have provided to family members had he or she lived
- Lost love, comfort, companionship, and society of the deceased
- Lost inheritance (what the deceased would have saved and left to surviving family members had he or she survived)
If you have lost a loved one in a propane tank fire or explosion in Dallas, call The Lenahan Law Firm at (214) 295-1008 as soon as possible. We are compassionate advocates for people suffering from a wrongful death. Our firm is committed to seeking justice for your loved one and holding responsible parties accountable. Our experienced Dallas wrongful death attorneys can assess the full extent of your family’s losses and act within the legal time limit to vigorously pursue the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive.