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Seattle firefighter sues after injuries from gas explosion

Tue., May 16, 2017, 11:15 a.m.

An aerial view of damage from a natural gas explosion that flattened buildings in Seattle Wednesday morning, March 9, 2016. (Steve Ringman / Seattle Times via AP)
An aerial view of damage from a natural gas explosion that flattened buildings in Seattle Wednesday morning, March 9, 2016. (Steve Ringman / Seattle Times via AP)

SEATTLE – A Seattle firefighter is suing Puget Sound Energy and one of its contractors, saying he has lingering injuries after being knocked out by a natural-gas explosion that leveled two buildings last year.

The Seattle Times reported that 50-year-old Jeff Markoff filed the lawsuit Friday. Markoff says he was about 90 feet from where the blast ignited and that has suffered memory and hearing loss, severe headaches, and other health issues.

Markoff and eight other firefighters were treated and released from a hospital that day.

Puget Sound Energy declined to comment on the lawsuit.

A state investigation found that a PSE contractor did not properly cut and cap the gas line, allowing gas to flow to a retired line.

In March the utility reached a preliminary $1.5 million settlement with the state. It’s required to inspect and remediate thousands of retired gas lines.



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