Premises liability: Gas explosion injures seven at college

An explosion rocked a college campus north of New York City, sending investigators scrambling to find the cause of the blast. The explosion, believed to be from gas, injured seven people who were on campus. A nearby middle school was evacuated as a precaution after the blast.

The sudden explosion badly damaged a building that houses the college’s business and leadership school. The force blew out doors and windows, pushed staircases aside and moved columns. Investigators said that elevated gas levels had been found in manholes around the building, and officials believe that could be the cause of the blast. The investigation was continuing.

The seven people injured were five employees and two college students, both adults, who were on campus during the school break. If classes had been in session, many more employees and students could have been in and around the building, leading to more injuries. As it stands, the seven people were taken to a local hospital for treatment, and one was transferred to another medical center for additional treatment.

Gas explosions can happen due to many causes. In residential settings, they may be sparked by water heaters, heating systems, grills, generators and other household appliances and systems. As this explosion shows, they can also happen from gas leaks or the presence of gas elsewhere. These explosions can result in serious injuries or death.

Whether a home explodes from a malfunctioning water heater or a building collapses due to gas explosion, injured parties may have options. Depending on what caused the gas leak, a gas company or supplier, manufacturer of appliances or equipment or another party may be held accountable through a premises liability lawsuit.

Source: ABC 7, “Gas explosion damages building at Nyack College,” June 4, 2013

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