Explosion at Murray State University Indicates the Importance of Explosive Gas Detectors

On June 28, Murray State University reported an explosion on campus in Richmond Hall, a dorm room, caused by a gas leak. Fortunately, the building wasn’t being used at the time and only one person was harmed, an employee who is reported to be in stable condition. The explosion occurred at 4:53 p.m. and was powerful enough to have been felt all the way off campus. While the cause of the leak is still being investigated, it brings to mind the potential danger of gas leaks and the importance of explosive gas detectors in preventing such events from occurring.

The natural and propane gases are known to cause explosions are very dangerous chemicals, in part because they are odorless. While many companies will add a fragrant component, ethyl mercaptan, to propane to make it easier to detect a possible leak, this added scent can fade, and leaving you with no way to know if a leak occurs. Propane gas is heavier than air and thus sinks low, sometimes gathering in basements or close to the ground where the human nose may not detect it until it’s too late.

Other gas explosions typically include natural gas, which primarily consists of methane. This is typically stored and transported underground, and can, therefore, lead to large explosions involving gas appliances, water heaters, and heating systems. These types of explosions can be caused by a leak in the pipes if something strikes the pipe, like a road work crew, or if the pipes are poorly maintained.

Gas explosions can happen anywhere, including in residential homes, office buildings, shops, schools, or any other place where gas is used. While the explosion at Murray State University was caused by a gas leak, similar accidents can also be caused by faulty structures, fires, a defective part or product, or as the result of another accident. For example, if the gas explosion happens at a construction site or manufacturing factory, it could have been spurred by some machine malfunction or equipment failure. The best way to protect yourself from a gas explosion is to install an explosive gas detector.

Explosive gas detectors will detect gas even without the scented component added. Most people are familiar with carbon monoxide detectors, and propane gas detectors act in much the same way. It is important to install both a propane detector and a natural gas detector anywhere a leak may occur.

To learn more about the explosion at Murray State University, click here.

If you or someone you love was injured in a propane or natural gas explosion due to a product malfunction, poorly maintained pipes, or some other act of negligence, contact Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC.

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