Gas can explosions cause burn injuries nationwide

It’s a personal injury situation that could happen to almost anyone in California: a gas can explosion. Statistics show that scores of victims are injured every year in these blasts, with at least 80 suits being filed during the past 20 years for those who suffer burn injuries in such explosions. We all know that gasoline is a dangerous chemical — but the gas can itself can be even more deadly.

Reports show that certain types of gas cans can pose serious danger because they lack one critical component: a flame arrester. That piece of wire mesh causes the heat to dissipate throughout the metal, preventing a flame from entering the gas can. Although there are already warnings about exposing gas cans to heat, studies show that a single spark can prompt a deadly blast when it comes in contact with gas vapor. That, according to experts, is a recipe for burn injuries and their associated medical expenses.

Since 1998, there have been 11 deaths from reported gas can explosions, and 1,200 people have visited emergency rooms. Those victims include one Illinois man who suffered third-degree burns over the majority of his body when his gas can caught fire on his farm. He spent months in a medically induced coma, and he was hospitalized for nearly six months after the incident. The man was carrying fuel for a brush fire in a gas can when that object reportedly exploded, turning into a “bomb,” according to one attorney.

Gas can manufacturers should realize that the inexpensive addition of a flame arrester could prevent horrific personal injury accidents that have led to scores of injuries and deaths. No one should have to deal with such serious pain and suffering simply because they want to use a gas can. Manufacturers should be held accountable for their negligence after cutting corners in such a fashion.

Source: KSDK, “Local man severely burnt in gas can” Mike Bush, May. 12, 2014