From my experience handling propane and gas injury cases, I can tell you this has all the hallmarks of a propane explosion: An extremely violent explosion completely demolishing the home, debris blown hundreds of feet out from the epicenter, insulation hanging from trees, shingles and other debris strewn everywhere, mattresses, too. Even cinder blocks are blown far from where walls once stood.
One of the survivors, a renter, said he had called his landlord about a propane leak earlier in the day. That probably means that he smelled the leak. If he did, he should not only have called his landlord, but he should also have gotten out of the house until the leak was fixed, and should have warned others to get out, too.
If you smell propane, get out, and get others out, without lighting anything, without turning on any switches, and without even calling from a phone. That’s because any of those activities can create a tiny spark that will ignite the propane in the air, and cause an explosion. Go to a neighbor’s house and call your propane supplier immediately from there. They should send someone immediately to investigate and fix the leak.
Depending on what the investigation reveals, the landlord may be held liable for not responding to this serious warning early on. The propane providers may also be liable for failure to properly warn, and for having improperly installed the propane delivery system, or for failing to properly inspect the propane delivery system for leaks on a regular basis. There are many other possible theories of liability, against various people and entities, depending on what the investigation turns up. The injured and their families should hire competent New York gas explosion injury lawyers immediately. Those lawyers should then hire competent explosion investigators and experts immediately to capture all the evidence before it disappears.
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Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels & Smolak, P.C.