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Copper Thieves Cause Explosion – Man Critically Injured


September 18, 2007

It’s one thing when an explosion happens out of nowhere, or is caused by old wiring or something along those lines. It’s quite another when an explosion occurs due to clumsy thieves, as was the case recently in Iowa where an 80-year-old man was seriously injured in an explosion that was caused by copper thieves cutting a propane line during their heist, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Earl Thelander was hospitalized at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha with second- and third-degree burns suffered in the blast. “Realistically, looking at his age and severity of the injuries, this is just a tough, tough fight,” said his son Doug Thelander. “A good man is going through a lot of pain for nothing.”

Thieves seeking a quick buck from rising scrap metal prices have been stealing copper wire and pipe from abandoned homes, buildings under construction, churches and vehicles all summer.

On Tuesday, they hit the empty house owned by Earl Thelander, which he was preparing to sell. Thelander went to the house after learning that the thieves had removed copper tubing water lines and tried to steal the copper propane line.

“They cut it a foot above the furnace,” Doug Thelander said. “Why would they do that? They could have turned the gas off.”

The damaged line caused propane to leak into the basement, and authorities said Thelander triggered the explosion when he plugged in an electric fan to air out the basement.”

There are obviously numerous legal issues that will result from this situation. If you have been injured by an explosion, contact an explosion lawyer at Williams Kherkher today to schedule a free initial consultation. You can do so either by clicking on the link provided or by calling us toll-free at (866) 950-9000.

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