Missouri Gas Explosion Levels Homes

At least five homes were destroyed and dozens of others were damaged in a natural gas explosion in an O’Fallon, Missouri, neighborhood (House explodes as neighborhood evacuates after gas leak in Missouri, video shows). The gas leak was created when a subcontractor for Gateway Fiber inadvertently punctured a natural gas line during a fiber optic installation.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the blast, but area homeowners were understandably concerned about determining who was to blame and who would ultimately bear responsibility for repairing the extensive damage (Who is responsible after homes destroyed in O’Fallon gas explosion?).  

Gas explosion cases are often complicated by the use of contractors and subcontractors in many building projects. Gateway hired Sellenriek Construction to drill an underground fiber line, who in turn subcontracted the work to JDK Construction, who employed the crew that hit the gas line. The sub-contractor then contacted Spire Energy, who owns and maintains the gas line. Thankfully, Spire evacuated the area before attempting to repair the damaged gas line, but who do the victims turn to for compensation?

In addition to the house that was leveled, a number of nearby houses suffered substantial damage. Next-door neighbor Ken Stout noted that his house now has multiple cracks in the foundation, but does not know who is expected to pay for repairs. “In the meantime, all of us are having to go through our own private insurances and adjusters and trying to find a structural engineer to come out and assess all the properties,” Stout said. “It’s been very difficult.” 

The Missouri Public Service Commission has confirmed that it is investigating the incident. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also launched an investigation. 

If you have been injured in a natural gas explosion, it is critical that you hire an experienced attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Please call Davis, Bethune & Jones today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Back to News