Friday , May 24 2024

Inmate Injured in Gas Explosion Dies

A jail inmate has died from injuries suffered in a gas pipeline explosion in Fresno.

52-year-old Jeremiah Espino of Sanger had been hospitalized since the blast on April 17th. He suffered severe burns.

Eleven people were injured when a gas pipeline ruptured in northwest Fresno.

The pipeline ran through the Fresno Sheriff’s gun range off Weber Avenue near Highway 99.

The gas pipeline rupture sent a column of flames into the sky.

A county worker on a front-end loader was moving dirt at the Fresno Sheriff’s gun range near the pipeline when the line ruptured.

A huge crater was left behind.

A crew of eight jail inmates was working at the gun range picking up shell casings.
Those closest to the explosion suffered the worst injuries, which included third degree burns.

The 52-year-old inmate had been in critical condition since the blast but succumbed to his injuries Monday evening.

PG&E issued a statement saying: "We’re saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and with the others injured in the incident."

So far, at least six of the injured inmates are suing PG&E and possibly Fresno County for negligence. Attorney Butch Wagner is representing five of the six.

"You would not expect something in the magnitude of an explosion because of a nicked line. What you would expect is a gas leak. Not an explosion," Wagner said.

Attorney Warren Paboojian represents one inmate who also suffered severe burns.

"Over half his body has some degree of burns. His arms are completely third degree burns and then his legs have second degree burns. He’s in serious condition right now," Paboojian said.

And at last report, the county worker who was on the front end loader was in critical but stable condition.

The exact cause of the pipeline explosion is still under investigation.

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