Utility Company Blamed for Gas Explosion
UGI Utilities is being blamed for a gas explosion that killed a 54 year old man and injured two employees.
The explosion occurred at a home at 206 Springdale Lane in Manor Township in July 2017. A formal complaint has been filed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissions against UGI for violating state and federal regulations.
According to the complaint, UGI was not following proper procedures, especially regarding the recognition and management of an undergrown blowing gas station. Furthermore, UGI employees did not take proper action to protect the property and the lives of those present by eliminating hazards.
The explosion that resulted proved fatal, killing UGI technician Richard Bouder. It also injured two other UGI employees. The entire home was leveled and the two neighboring houses were damaged so badly they’ve been condemned.
UGI Faces Penalties and Corrections
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissions has suggested UGI be fined more than $2 million for 19 violations. They have also be asked to correct 15 violations.
The complaints against UGI include accusations that the deceased employee failed to leave the home after it was determined there was an explosive level of gas present and that the employees allowed residents in the nearby homes to remain on premises. The company also failed to prevent an accident ignition by stopping a woman from starting her vehicle and driving out of her garage twice.
- Did not contact the local fire department
- Did not shut off the gas supply
- Did not turn off the electricity
After an investigation, it was determined that UGI does not advise employees on when to call for assistance, nor do they instruct employees responding to an emergency to report to a dispatcher the severity of the issue when responding to a call.
UGI Reviewing Complaint
UGI has been given 20 days to respond to the complaint and if they contest the recommendations made by Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissions the matter will be heard before an administrative law judge. The company is currently reviewing the complaint and a spokesperson said UGI is fully committed to safety and will continue to cooperate and respond within the 20 day time frame.
Heavens Law has worked with people injured while on the job and by the carelessness of utility companies. We understand how devastating these events can be and that when natural gas is involved injuries are often catastrophic or fatal. Our goal is to ensure those affected by incidents such as this receive the compensation they deserve. For more information or to discuss an event, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377.