Parts of the Toulouse and Dauphine streets were closed off after a blown Entergy line caused an explosion and car fire leading to a partial French Quarter evacuation in the New Orleans French Quarter Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.

According to local news and television reports, just after 5:00 a.m., residents near the intersection of Dauphine and Toulouse streets stated they heard a booming noise. The explosion they heard involved possibly two cars and four blown manhole covers on Dauphine Street which led to extensive sidewalk damage and a partial evacuation of the immediate area.

According to NOFD Capt. Edwin Holmes of the New Orleans Fire Department, firefighters arrived at the scene at 5:07 a.m and found at least 4 manhole covers had been “blown off into the street, into buildings and vehicles.” Holmes also said the explosion blew out windows to one home and four cars were damaged.

New Orleans Police Department along with New Orleans Fire Department later confirmed these two agencies are investigating that an explosion happened, but it was still unclear if the explosion caused the car fire or the other way around.

In addition to the residents living on Dauphin Street having to be evacuated, as a safety precaution, gas and electricity were turned off to buildings, and New Orleans Sewage and Water Board city agencies have responded and were working in accordance with the large police and fire presence in the area, as well as with Energy crews and other city agencies investigation the cause of the explosion.

NOFD’s hazardous materials team and the state Fire Marshal’s office are investigating the explosion as well.

The fact that NOFD’s hazardous materials team is on the scene implicates toxic air quality issues may be present which can seriously damage individuals with healthy lungs, let alone those individuals who already suffer with compromised lung efficiency due to asthma, COPD, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and other persistent and debilitating lung diseases that affect an individual’s ability to live a normal active lifestyle or require constant oxygen to merely survive. Chemical exposure can occur in a wide number of ways. Simply breathing or touching a harmful chemical can result in exposure injury.

 Symptoms of Harmful Chemical Exposure

Although some chemicals have an odor, others do not, making it critical to understand the symptoms of exposure. The symptoms of chemical exposure may include:

  • Burning in the eyes, nose or throat
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomach pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Convulsions

What is most critical to keep in mind with toxic chemical exposure is that toxic exposure to air quality can endure and affect an individual’s lung’s health long past the time that police leave the scene of the explosion and the firefighters have put out the car fires and all the emergency utility crews and their vehicles have returned to their respective workplaces and the residents who were evacuated have settled back into their living spaces.

You can also ingest chemical exposure. After the event occurred, you can eat or drink chemicals that were absorbed from the toxic air surrounding food products sold in the local stores and cooked in local restaurants after the even happened.

In a personal injury case involving premises liability, an injury might be caused by neglecting property maintenance or failure to use reasonable care.

In the case of the explosion in the New Orleans French Quarter section of Toulouse and Dauphine streets, through investigations conducted by every city agency involved and the proper authorities that oversee and execute such investigations, there may be grounds to show there was negligence on the part of the utility companies that provide gas and electric service to the French Quarter.

The City of New Orleans and all the government institutions, agents and branches that comply with city and state utility administration can be held accountable and made responsible to cover compensation costs to repair and restore their resident’s health after any traumatic public safety event.

If you or a loved one were evacuated or live in the designated zones effected by this explosion and have medical issues that were negatively impacted on, or if you’ve been seriously injured by any type of public safety causal action, you have the right to be compensated for your pain and suffering and medical costs and loss of earnings if you are unable to work due to your injuries.

To fight city hall you need the will of iron and the best and brightest and most experienced legal team on your side.

The law firm of Alvenidia, Kelly & Demarest has proudly and aggressively worked to protect the legal rights of our New Orleans residents since 2003. Contact us today for a free case evaluation 504-200-0000. The attorneys at Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest are always on call to answer your call