BALTIMORE (AP/WJZ) — A man who was seriously injured in a natural gas explosion in Baltimore has filed a lawsuit against Baltimore Gas & Electric as well as the city.

The man claims both are responsible for the August explosion that badly burned him and buried him in his basement home.

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Attorneys for Terry James claim that BGE knew its gas lines were unsafe and had failed to respond to a meter showing high rates of gas.

BGE spokesman Aaron Koos said the company does not comment on the merits of pending litigation.

But he added that BGE’s equipment “was inspected, tested, and found to be operating safely and was not the cause of the tragic natural gas explosion.”

WJZ received this statement from BGE on the incident:

“While BGE does not comment on the merits of pending litigation, it is important to remember that BGE’s equipment was inspected, tested, and found to be operating safely and was not the cause of the tragic natural gas explosion that occurred on Aug. 10, 2020. We remind all customers to contact BGE immediately at 877-778-7798 or call 911 from a safe location to report a gas odor or any issue with gas equipment.  Our crews will respond immediately any time of day or night to investigate and make the situation safe.” 

The blast killed two people and injured seven others, including James. WJZ spoke exclusively to the family’s attorney back in October.

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“While it was a tragedy, it was not an act of God,” Latoya Francis-Williams, the family’s attorney, said. “Our goal is to figure out who is responsible.”

Terry’s uncle, Troy James, said the incident created a financial burden.

“To be financially prepared, we have to change our home for it to be accessible to him,” he said. “On top of medical bills.”

In January, Baltimore City Fire investigators revealed a natural gas build-up caused the deadly blast, but BGE determined their equipment was not at fault.

The lawsuit claims a day before the incident occurred, James’ landlord hired an HVAC company to install or work on a furnace and gas piping, noting the landlord, “engaged with various pieces of equipment involving the gas meter, then reassured his tenants, including Terry James, that everything was fine.”

Baltimore City officials say the contractor was licensed, but the permit for the work has not been found.

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