Natural gas has become a modern-day convenience that most of us can’t seem to live without. Used for everything from heating, cooking, and electricity generation, this ubiquitous fuel source has woven itself into our every day lives and infrastructure. Unfortunately for many places in Texas, that weaving of natural gas pipelines happened many decades ago and we have built our homes and cities around these inherently dangerous gas meters without much afterthought of how society will flow around them.
An example of those elements combining into the perfect recipe for disaster occurred when in 2006 in Central Texas, a woman was backing out of her driveway and she accidentally hit a gas meter that was located near the edge of her driveway. The collision triggered a violent explosion that ultimately claimed her life.
More recently, Michelle Gilmartin and her twin 9-year-old boys were heading home on a rainy evening. Suddenly and without warning, the vehicle in front of her came to an abrupt stop so Michelle had to swerve out of the way to avoid the impending collision. Michelle’s car avoided the vehicle in front of her but ultimately ended up hitting a gas meter in front of a house. As the gas started leaking, Michelle immediately rushed her two boys out to safety. Per their mother, the boys are still traumatized by the incident to this day and often point out gas meters in their travels.
Experts within the natural gas industry have argued that costs play a large factor in determining whether gas meter restructuring is more important than the larger pipeline placement project. With our ever-expanding cities and increasingly congested roadways, it would seem like a logical choice to place the general populace’s safety as a top priority. If city planners, natural gas engineers, and the leaders of the natural gas industry do not revisit and revise their old methods, we as Texas drivers may have an extra level of danger added to our roadways.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed due to a gas explosion or due to an incident that could have been prevented, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.