Explosions occur almost daily in the United States. News items about them find their way into your Facebook and Twitter feeds far too frequently.
Set a Google alert for “house explosion” or “gas explosion,” and watch as your inbox is inundated with updates.
Here is a look at two recent news-making explosions:
Rapatee house explosion kills 2 in rural Illinois
From WQAD-TV News, Moline, Illinois: Two people were killed Sunday morning in a house explosion at Illinois 97 and North Street in Rapatee in rural Knox County.
A statement from Fulton County Emergency Management said the Rapatee house explosion happened at about 11:30 a.m. The Fairview Fire Department responded to the scene, and those first-responders said they discovered scattered debris in the roadway, hanging from power lines, and in the yards of nearby homes.
Houses next door, across the street, and down the block also were damaged from the Rapatee explosion. Nearby windows were blown out, foundations were torn up, and some roofs had caved in.
Rapatee house explosion: church in session
A church service was going on across the street at the time of the blast.
“Well, when the blast went off, that (church) was in service,” said Carl Bock, a nearby resident. “You can see the church is across the street from the explosion site. I didn’t take a good look, but they say the house right next to it, it’s off the foundation. The sides caved in pretty good.”
Fairview Fire officials called for assistance from surrounding Maquon Fire, Farmington Fire and London Mills Fire Departments, which began to conduct search and rescue operations and extinguish the fire. Fulton County Emergency Management officials said the home was supplied by a propane tank in the yard and that there are no natural gas lines in the area.
AMEREN Crews restored power to area homes after it was out for the afternoon.
Santa Fe explosion injures numerous workers
From The Daily News, Galveston County, Texas: A natural gas line exploded Thursday in Santa Fe, Texas, causing multiple injuries to a crew of workers in the area, police said. Santa Fe is about 40 miles southeast of Houston. Two victims were transported to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital in Galveston by ambulance; 0ne injured man was awaiting transport.
The police department reported that as many as five others were taken to a hospital by ambulance, but no one would confirm an exact number or whether the injured were working on the gas line or another project.
Residential area rocked
The damaged gas line is in the middle of a densely populated residential area in about the 5300 block of Avenue M.
Firefighters for the Santa Fe Volunteer Fire Department were the first to respond to a report of flames coming from the ground. Firefighters immediately put out a call for medical transport, initially reporting one burn victim.
Injured not identified
At least some of the injured are believed to have sustained second- and third-degree burns. The names of those injured and the name of the company they worked for had not been released.
Workers from CenterPoint Energy were monitoring power lines at the scene.
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed in fires and explosions. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: