12 deaths in 10 years from apartment gas explosions

2,296Views 0Comments Posted 02/11/2022


A new explosion in a high-end residential building that injured 22 residents once again brings to the fore the issue of  tests and gas installations which have caused a dozen deaths in the last 10 years says TVN.

Mario Vargas, from the Panamanian Association of PH Administrators, said that it is necessary to think about what is being done within horizontal properties to mitigate this type of risk. Apartments in the damaged Urbana complex cost over $306,000.

He considers it necessary to improve the procedure not only for the tightness test but also for the gas installations that must be carried out by qualified persons, indicating that the fact that the contracting party is qualified does not mean that the person who installs it is.

“The tightness test is not going to solve everything, it can be a bad installation by an owner, it can be a bad handling by an unsuitable technician. We have to identify where the problem is, if it was a leak due to the construction materials or due to the manipulation of the system”, he asserted.

Vargas reiterated that it is important to identify the risk and he advised people if they smell gas to immediately call the fire department.

He stressed that the designs and construction of the buildings comply with international safety regulations, which is why they receive the permits. While there are people who fear the airtightness test because it takes up to two years, when it should take a month and a half maximum, but owners often do not open their units for the testing process, which delays them.

"An airtightness test costs between $90 and $100 dollars per apartment , this includes the certification and test," he said.

In the last 10 years there have been seven cases of explosions in PH .


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