A series of three natural gas pipeline explosions injured four pipeline employees and a volunteer firefighter at 11:30 am on Wednesday, August 1. The pipeline blasts happened on Farm-to-Market Road 1379, about twenty miles southeast of Midland. The first of the explosions started a fire. The pipeline workers and the firefighter had managed to quell the blaze, when two additional explosions followed in quick succession. The pipeline employees suffered serious burns and were transported to University Medical Center in Lubbock. The firefighter was taken to Midland City Hospital. So far, the cause of the explosions has not been determined.
The natural gas industry employs thousands of people in Texas. But as this incident shows, those workers as well as the public are at risk for explosions, fires and other potentially catastrophic accidents.
The injured workers and the firefighter should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If the explosions were the result of a safety violation or the negligence of a third party, they may eligible for additional compensation through a separate civil action. An experienced personal injury attorney can review their situation and explain their legal options.