Accident and injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report of a recent explosion in a five-story building in New York City which injured at least twelve people. Part of the building, located in Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown district, collapsed after the explosion.
The mixed-use structure, located at 17 Pike Street, contained businesses on the first floor and residence on the upper floors. About four are being treated with serious injuries, several of whom were at the Piao Lian Ren Shen Beauty store, located on the ground floor of the building, at the time of the explosion. The ceiling collapsed in on the beauty store after what New York Deputy Police Commissioner suspected to be a gas explosion.
Fortunately, firefighters were able to respond within three minutes, arriving at 17 Pike St. around 12:45 p.m., finding a significant part of the first floor collapsed and the fires in the rest of the structure. The fire was under control by 1:35 p.m. The NYC Fire Department Assistant Chief stated that the building had several existing fire code violations, which are now being investigated.
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Witnesses state the loud explosion was followed by intense smoke for about 20 minutes afterward. One news station reported the extensive smoke was the result of two dozen bug bombs stored inside the structure, which may have sparked the explosion. All two dozen were located in the beauty store, causing a chain reaction. Among the twelve injured included four firefighters, though the most seriously injured were on the second and third floors at the time of the blast.
A similar explosion recently occurred at West Fertilizer Co. near Waco, Texas, resulting in several personal injury lawsuits. One grandmother injured in the explosion alleges that Adair Grain, Inc, which stored and handled the toxic materials that caused the explosion, showed conscious indifference in its conduct.
The woman was in a public park with friends when the fertilizer plant exploded, knocking her down and causing her jaw to break, teeth to loosen, and eardrum to perforate. Her cell phone was found about 150 feet away from where she stood at the time of the blast.
Another lawsuit also names Adair Grain along with West Fertilizer for negligently causing acts and omissions that caused the explosion, resulting in damages to the plaintiffs as well as personal property. It also alleges the companies were negligent in hiring, training, and supervising its workers.
The West, Texas explosion killed 15 people and destroyed several apartment buildings, homes and schools, along with public sewer lines and pipes. The West Fertilizer Plant exploded after the facility caught on fire, although the cause of the fire remains unclear. The heat of the fire destabilized tons of explosive fertilizer stored in the structure, causing a massive blast which registered as a small earthquake.
In the days after the blast police were still searching for about 60 people who remained unaccounted for, while at least 200 people were injured. The fertilizer plant apparently had not been inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 1985.
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As a result, the town of West itself sued the company that supplied the plant with ammonium nitrate, that active ingredient in fertilizer, alleging it sold the dangerous compound negligently and failed to handle it properly. The company, CF Industries, supplied the plant with 200 tons of ammonium nitrate without first investigating whether it could be stored safety in the Texas facility. The city also alleges the supplier provided outdated information to the plant, failing to include additives that would have prevented the detonation.
Building explosion lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience advocating on behalf of those seriously injured or killed in these types of catastrophic accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in a similar explosion or fire caused by the negligence of