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Gas leak may be behind Florida shopping center explosion

Property owners in Georgia should know that they have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment. As part of that, they must routinely inspect their gas pipes for any leaks. An incident at a Florida shopping center illustrates what can happen if property owners fail in this regard.

On the morning of July 6, firefighters in the town of Plantation, Florida, received a call about a possible gas explosion at a shopping center. One store had its windows blown out, and another was left standing with nothing but its metal frame. The roof was blown off one section. Debris went flying for hundreds of yards, raining down with such force that one person in a nearby parking lot took refuge under his vehicle.

Upon arriving, firefighters found ruptured gas lines in the rubble and shut off gas to the surrounding area. They pulled out 21 people, two of whom suffered serious injuries. One was classified as having incurred Level 1 trauma. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.

The case is still under investigation, and authorities have not said for certain if an active gas leak caused the explosion. Once the explosion ignited the building, the fire went out so that there were no visible flames. The blast was felt and heard from several miles away.

Because the details remain unclear, one cannot say if this was a preventable accident. If it was, victims may be able to seek compensation from the responsible party. This means filing a premises liability claim. Attorneys who work in this field may provide beneficial advice and guidance, so victims may want to schedule a case evaluation before moving forward. They may have the attorney negotiate on their behalf for a fair settlement, litigating as a last resort.

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  • CLLA | Commercial Law League of America
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