Gas Leak in Soulard Causes Massive Explosion

Eleven people narrowly escaped with their lives the other day, February 5, when a South Dakota-based construction crew working for AT&T hit a natural gas line, triggering three large explosions. The construction crew was installing fiber optic cable for the Stars Design group, a clothing design firm located in St. Louis’ Soulard area, when they accidentally cut into a natural gas line. When they smelled gas, they immediately called 911 and alerted everybody in the 3-store building of the danger. All eleven employees escaped in the nick of time.

“I Could Have Been Dead”

Only thirty seconds after the employees evacuated the building, there was a massive explosion. Workers interviewed were extremely distraught by the close call. Azem Dullovi, a 29-year old maintenance worker for Stars, said that the force of the explosion threw him several feet, knocking him to the ground and injuring his back. An hour later, he was still suffering from irritation caused by smoke inhalation. “I could have been dead,” he said.

Laclede Gas crews responding to the disaster cut off gas and electrical service to the surrounding neighborhood and evacuated nearby homes as a precaution. St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson explained that firefighters could not put out the fire until gas and electricity to 21 nearby homes and businesses in the area had been shut off  due to the potential for gas to migrate through foundations of other buildings, causing even more explosions. The fire was extinguished around 6 p.m. last night, and the building was a total loss. Many residents congregated in Soulard restaurants and bars, waiting for their power to be restored on one of the coldest nights of the year. Service was eventually restored to the area around 10 p.m.

Residents in the area described the blast as a “roaring boom” that “felt like a shock wave”. The blast caused damage to several buildings in the area, and as of this morning, several people in the neighborhood reported experiencing burning eyes from the heavy smoke that shrouded the area.  No one was taken to the hospital. Even so, St. Louis Fire Captain Garon Mosby said it was a “very serious situation”. Firefighters responding to the fire tested gas level in the air. “Our meter was going crazy,” said Mosby. That’s when firefighters immediately ordered everybody in the building to get out. “It was pretty much a life-and-death order,” Mosby said.

Bret Schnitker, owner of Stars, said that fire officials had to get four more people out of the building just seconds before the explosion.”We got them out and within thirty seconds three large explosions. I think within minutes there would have been more than 11 people that wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

What to Do if You Detect a Strong Odor of Gas

The Soulard explosion illustrates the dangers that a serious gas leak can pose. If you smell a strong odor of gas in your home or business, take the following steps immediately:

  1. Do not attempt to find the leak source or turn off valves in appliances.
  2. Do not operate any electrical, battery or mechanical devices, including phones and lights, as these can spark an explosion in the presence of gas.
  3. Call Laclede Bas Emergency Services immediately at: 314.342.0800
  4. Evacuate the building, making sure to alert everyone inside that you suspect a gas leak.
  5. Do not under any circumstances re-enter the building until told that it is safe to do so.

Consult with a Top Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been suffered harms of losses due to a gas leak–blast-related fall, smoke or fire inhalation, chemical irritation or property loss—caused by the negligence or purposeful actions of another, call one of our top trial lawyers at 314-409-7060 or 855-40-CRASH (toll free) for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Recent News

See What's Happening

  • St. Louis Bicycle Accident Claims

    St. Louis Bicycle Accident Claims

    While there are fewer cyclists on the roads than cars and trucks, the injury and mortality rates are much higher than the average motorist....
  • Missouri Dog Bites On the Rise

    Missouri Dog Bites On the Rise

    Dog bites in the US? Nearly 4.5 million per year, according to Insurance Information Institute, dog bites accounted for more than $600 million in...
  • Dog Bite Claims and Homeowners Insurance

    Dog Bite Claims and Homeowners Insurance

    Unless you have experienced a dog bite you are unlikely to realize how serious dog bites can be. In fact they can be so...
  • Insurance Companies Accused of Fake Repairs

    Insurance Companies Accused of Fake Repairs

    Those suffering from an accident need their vehicle repaired so they can get back to work, attend medical appointments, and meet the other demands...
  • Most Dangerous Intersections in Missouri

    Most Dangerous Intersections in Missouri

    Data analyzed from 2005-2010 shows that St. Louis is home to the most dangerous intersection in Missouri. Learn more about Missouri's most dangerous intersections...
  • Distracted Driving Accidents On The Rise

    Distracted Driving Accidents On The Rise

    Distracted driving continues to cause unnecessary suffering. Missouri is home to some of the most lenient laws in the United States when it comes...

Personal Injury Attorney

Legal & Injury Representation St. Louis Deserves.

Results — that's what clients expect from Dixon Injury Firm. Chris brings years of personal injury law experience to the table. Based in St. Louis, his firm provides free consultations and contingency service to the high-caliber injury and liability legal arena. Tell us about your case and we'll show you how to win.

Recent Successes

  • Policy Limits Settlement

    Missouri Truck Accident

    $30,000.00 Settlement

    Missouri Car Crash With Minor Property Damage

  • $40,000 Settlement

    Missouri Low Impact Automobile Accident

    $40,000 Settlement

    Missouri Dog Bite

  • $45,000 Settlement

    Missouri Dog Bite

    $50,000 Settlement

    Missouri Auto Accident

  • $50,000 Settlement

    Missouri Car Accident Crash

    $65,000 Settlement

    Missouri Pedestrian Accident

Get The Representation You Need Today!

Reach out to Chris Dixon for personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other legal services for experienced, reliable counsel and representation in St. Louis.

Contact Us Today

Schedule a


Submit Your
Case Details