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This morning’s natural gas pipeline explosion in Corpus Christi reportedly injured six people. Authorities continue to search for four unaccounted crew members of the involved dredger. Meanwhile, the wide-ranging health and safety effects of the incident remain unknown.

With emergency response efforts underway, authorities suggest there are no alleged health and safety threats to community members. Although first responders from the United States Coast Guard and Corpus Christi Fire Department closed roads and restricted nearby vessel passage, is there a possibility that additional health concerns may result?

Three potential health considerations for those not directly involved

Water and air contamination are a concern for those who live near one of the numerous active oil and gas wells across the nation. Considering the dangerous properties of carbon monoxide released by explosive activity, one might wonder whether a fire of this magnitude could have adverse effects beyond those directly involved.

It is too soon to say when the pipeline will be repaired. Yet, there are multiple likely dangers associated with this incident. As gas leaks from the compromised pipeline, concerns may include:

  • Respiratory illness triggered by cancer-causing air pollution
  • Augmented global warming due to released methane
  • Increased food toxicity linked to contaminated groundwater dispersed through crop irrigation systems

Agencies must work swiftly to contain emissions and minimize further hazards.

Meanwhile, if you begin to experience symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nausea or breathing difficulties, seek medical attention. If your symptoms relate to the explosion, you can explore your options for seeking compensation.