Shabron Robinson Killed In Chicago Gas Explosion Accident At Apartment
Wrongful Death - September 27, 2022
Shabron Robinson Died, Anthonella Wims and 6 Other People Injured In Chicago’s Austin Neighborhood When A Natural Gas Explosion Caused Apartment To Partially Collapse
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (September 26, 2022) – A 29-year-old man identified as Shabron Robinson has died in a natural gas explosion at a Chicago apartment.
Cook County police officials are saying that the explosion took place in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood on Tuesday morning. A sudden explosion shook a residential apartment and showered the streets below with debris.
The force of the impact caused parts of the apartment to partially collapse. Numerous people at the scene said that the blast was so violent that they feared it may have been a terrorist attack.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the explosion in order to help all of the victims. Anthonella Wims was waiting by a bus stop when she was injured by the blast. She was taken to the hospital and then released.
Shabron Robinson sustained severe burns over most of his body and was also taken to the hospital. He was treated by doctors and nurses in the burn center for three days.
Sadly, he died as a result of his injuries. A representative for Peoples Gas was called to the scene to investigate. It was later determined that the cause of the explosion was from natural gas.
In all, 7 people were injured in addition to the tragic death of Shabron Robinson. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Chicago Natural Gas Explosion Accidents
Natural gas leaks are one of the most common causes of residential explosions. According to RP GAs Piping, “Across the U.S. there are about 286 serious natural gas explosions per year—the type that cause over $50,000 worth of damage, severe injury, or loss of life. Between 1998 and 2017, 15 people per year on average died in incidents related to gas distribution in the U.S.” Natural gas is delivered through long-distance pipelines that are under an enormous amount of pressure. There are a number of factors that could potentially lead to a natural gas explosion.
- Over-pressured Pipes: Natural gas pipelines are only approved to handle so much pressure. When gas pipelines are over-pressured this increases the odds of a leak and catastrophic explosion.
- Poor Pipeline Maintenance: All natural gas pipelines require maintenance for them to function safely. There should be an annual inspection and leak surveys.
- Construction Accidents: A large number of natural gas explosions are due to construction accidents. Developers may try to dig in some section of land and not realize that there are natural gas pipelines there.
- Improper Appliance Hookups: In order for natural gas to be distributed safely to a home or apartment, there needs to be proper hookups to appliances. If these hookups are damaged or do not fit properly, this could lead to a leak and explosion.
There could be many sources of liability for any accident involving a natural gas explosion. A gas provider could potentially be liable for a natural gas explosion. Gas companies have a legal duty to comply with all safety regulations and must periodically inspect and maintain their lines. As stated earlier, they must perform leak surveys to identify and prevent leaks. If a gas provider failed to properly maintain their lines, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.
The company that owned an apartment complex could also potentially be liable for a natural gas explosion. Pursuant to Illinois Civil Code 740 ILCS 130/2, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. To this end, they must perform periodic inspections of the property and appliances that are being used. When a property owner has actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition on a property, they must work to fix the dangerous condition.
A construction company or general contractor could also be liable for a gas explosion. Many explosions are proceeded by severe damage to a gas pipeline. A construction company may have been attempting to repair a building but did not realize where a gas pipe was before they started. In rare circumstances, a gas company may fail to properly identify where their lines run. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any natural gas explosion.
- Maintenance records of the gas lines surrounding the blast site should be examined.
- Maintenance records for the building where the explosion occured should be reviewed.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted.
Determining liability for any type of natural gas explosion can be an extremely complicated endeavor. There are many moving parts that need to be examined. However, apartment owners and natural gas providers will often fight extremely hard to deny liability for any accident. This is why it is so crucial that evidence is properly preserved and that there is a thorough investigation into what happened.
Investigating A Chicago Natural Gas Explosion Accident
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Shabron Robinson. It is our sincere hope that Anthonella Wims and the 6 other victims will be able to make a full recovery. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of all of the victims. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Chicago natural gas explosion? Our team of consumer safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that property owners and gas companies are doing everything they can to keep their customers safe. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.