Evansville Home Explosion: 3 People Killed, 39 Homes Damaged
On Wednesday, August 10, three people were killed when a home exploded in Evansville, Indiana. Initial reports state that 39 homes were damaged. What got my attention is that this is the *second* home explosion to occur in Evansville in the past five years. Our homes are our safe havens, so news like this is extremely disturbing for all of us.
What was the root cause of the 2017 home explosion?
In the 2017 explosion, a lawsuit was filed against the utility company for failing to properly inspect gas lines and warn occupants of a leak. The plaintiffs asserted that natural gas had been leaking into their home and accumulating throughout the house. That explosion killed two people and injured three others. The judge ruled in favor of the utility company.
I have so many questions! And this is the problem I have with the legal system after working in it for over 15 years. One party wins the case, the other party loses, but problems don’t always get fixed, and tragedy is invited to strike again.
What caused that gas leak in 2017? Will there be a root cause investigation for yesterday’s explosion? What measures can be taken so that there is not a third tragedy?
Sometimes companies refuse to conduct an RCA because of potential litigation risks.
When a lawsuit is filed, people start dodging blame. Root cause analysis findings may be discoverable and admissible at trial. So, one reason a company would refuse to conduct a root cause analysis is because of potential litigation risks. I’m not asserting that this utility did not conduct one, but I’ve seen it happen. This is tragic because an RCA recommends actions to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.
I hope that if this utility company and any other does not have a good root cause analysis system they will reach out to us for help. These deaths and damages to peoples’ homes cause needless suffering and are preventable. I have roots in Southern Indiana, so my heart is breaking. Our thoughts are with you, Evansville.