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A Philadelphia food truck exploded Tuesday afternoon, injuring 12 people, including a mother and daughter who were working inside.
The blast, captured on video by a nearby surveillance camera, is believed to have been caused by an exploding propane tank, reports Philadelphia's WCAU-TV. The two women working in the truck, a 42-year-old mother and her 17-year-old daughter, both suffered severe burns and are listed in critical condition.
What do witnesses say happened, and what legal questions are raised by this food truck explosion?
Explosion Caught on Camera
The La Parillada Food Truck was parked in Philadelphia's Feltonville area, where the explosion occurred about 5:30 p.m., police said. A nearby surveillance camera caught the explosion, which can be seen on WCAU's report:
As the video shows, the explosion engulfed nearby cars and bystanders. Along with the two critically injured women inside the truck, a 23-year-old woman who suffered third-degree burns was initially listed as critical but has been upgraded, and a 13-year-old girl also initially listed as critical was also upgraded to stable. The eight other victims were treated and released, WCAU reports.
Legal Questions Abound
Of course any explosion that causes injuries raises legal questions about liability.
In this case, the owner or owners of the food truck could potentially face liability if the explosion is determined to have been caused by their own negligence or negligent acts by one of their employees. For example, if the explosion was found to be caused by a failure to properly maintain the propane tanks, this may be sufficient to find the owners breached a duty owed to those within the truck's zone of danger.
If the explosion is determined to have been caused by an employee's negligent act, the owners of the truck still may be liable for the injuries caused by the explosion through vicarious liability, which imputes the negligent acts of employees while on the job to their employers.
However, if a problem with the propane tank itself caused the blast, then the truck's owners could point to the tank's manufacturer as the responsible party.
Police are still investigating the cause of the explosion, but victims will want to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.