Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) was recently fined over $400,000 as a result of a huge 2019 gas explosion that destroyed a shopping center (BGE is fined $400,000+ in explosion that blew apart Columbia shopping center). The Maryland Public Service Commission found that the explosion “was the result of both a violation of gas and electric regulations.”
According to the Commission’s report, BGE was in violation of a number of state and federal statutes and regulations, including failure to comply with “the minimum separation of the underground lines specified for joint trench installations in its internal standards.” The utility company was also ordered to determine whether an additional 1,250 sites need to be remediated.
Despite this, BGE is continuing its pattern of denying responsibility for gas explosions. Mere days after being fined, BGE placed the blame for a fatal 2020 gas explosion in northwest Baltimore solely on its customer (Source of fatal 2020 gas explosion traced to stove).
The day before the explosion, a licensed contractor made some repairs to the HVAC system in the home, which apparently led to a spike in gas levels. When the stove was eventually turned on, the gas ignited, killing two people and injuring seven others.
BGE released a statement absolving itself of all responsibility while placing the blame entirely on the victims. “Equipment beyond the meter – including natural gas appliances – is the responsibility of the customer,” the statement read. “This incident is a very tragic reminder of the importance of natural gas safety. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones and others affected by this incident.”
BGE expects their non-expert customers to ensure their own safety while it pumps lethal gas into their homes for enormous profits. To no one’s surprise, a billion-dollar corporation is once again refusing to take responsibility for the tragic consequences of its own negligence by blaming the victims. We must hold these companies accountable for the damage they cause to everyday Americans in their endless pursuit of profits.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a natural gas explosion, it is crucial that you hire an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.