A boiler explosion in a Texas hospital on June 26th, 2018 left one dead and fifteen injured. The explosion destroyed large portions of the facility and forced residents of nearby long-term care facilities and nursing homes to be moved. A natural gas explosion occurred elsewhere nearby earlier in the day, but Atmos Energy Mid-Tex is denying any relationship between the two incidents as police and local officials continue to investigate.
Boilers are often used for heating in many northern locales, both in homes and in apartment buildings, where a centralized boiler can heat multiple units. But boilers can also be used to generate steam power for large buildings to cut down on electricity costs. For a hospital, a steam boiler can also provide a backup power system in case of power outages in the area.
Pressure is key to generating steam power, so a boiler is always at risk for explosion, particularly if the combustion chamber is compromised in any way. Boilers also produce significant amounts of environmental heat in some cases, drastically increasing the risk of explosion if there is a leak in a nearby gas line. When an explosion or leak occurs nearby, it is important for any facility employing a boiler to make sure a full safety inspection is completed before reigniting the system.
Many people do not realize the risk posed by these powerful machines. Proper maintenance is extremely important when dealing with any system that has the potential to explode. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a gas explosion, determining whether or not maintenance was deferred is important. Please consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case, and continue to push to make sure that a full and proper investigation is performed.