Was week-long gas leak the cause of a fatal apartment explosion?

When people make the decision to live in a rental property, they do so with the understanding that their landlord will be responsible for many critical aspects of maintenance. As we have observed in multiple situations on this blog, failing to regularly maintain a rental property can have devastating consequences.

A report from the New York Daily News may have local renters concerned about how quickly their landlords or superintendents respond to maintenance calls. Recently, an apartment complex in Alabama exploded. As two apartment buildings toppled in the blast, several adults and children suffered injuries. First responders found that one woman died as a result of the explosion.

In total, it took about two hours for firefighters to extinguish the fires created by the explosion. Now, investigators will try to determine what caused this horrifying residential accident.

Although no official report from the investigation has been issued, residents of the apartment complex say that they smelled a natural gas odor in or near the building for about a week prior to the accident. Apparently, they had complained about the smell. If it turns out that a gas leak caused the explosion and the landlord failed to respond to residents’ concerns, then there could be very important questions about liability that deserve answers.

Those injured in this apartment blast could be dealing with severe burn injuries for many months or years to come. As a result, medical expenses could become overwhelming. Knowing this, it may be beneficial for the victims of the explosion to determine their legal options for compensation. Doing so could provide relief in a time of need.

Source: The New York Daily News, “1 dead, several hurt in explosion at Alabama apartment complex,” Joe Kemp, Dec. 17, 2013