What caused the Nyack explosion that injured seven people on Tuesday morning? The answer will follow a lengthy investigation into the apparent accident, but it seems that a damaged gas pipeline is the likely culprit. The suspect gas pipe is located beneath a construction site with ongoing excavation, fueling speculation that heavy construction equipment caused the damage.
The violent explosion occurred just north of New York City, at Nyack College. The explosion resulted in the hospitalization of two students and five employees. The injuries included: burns, broken bones and shrapnel wounds.
The natural gas company that owns the pipeline is Orange & Rockland Utilities (O&R). Not surprisingly, O&R was quick to suggest that Nyack’s construction project damaged the pipeline. The gas company reported that the explosion caused about 30 people to lose gas service, but more than half have since had service restored. While gas pipeline explosions are relatively rare, they can cause mass devastation and death.
In 2010, a pipeline explosion leveled an entire neighborhood in San Bruno, California, causing the wrongful death of eight people and injuring 58. That utility company, PG&E, was recently fined $2.25 billion for its negligence in causing the accident.
Fortunately, all of the victims at Nyack College will survive this frightening incident, but one or more entities will certainly be held responsible for the resulting harm and damage.
If you’ve been seriously injured on another person’s property because of their negligence, an experienced New York City premises liability attorney can help you explore your legal options for recovering money damages.
Source: CBS New York, “O&R Looking Into Damaged Gas Pipe In Wake Of Explosion At Nyack College,” June 5, 2013