Some Prague Earthquake Victims Still Have Not Fully Recovered 5 Years Later
PRAGUE, Oklahoma - This weekend will be five years since that big 5.7 earthquake in Pawnee. But if you think folks there have rebuilt and moved on, you're wrong.
“All of a sudden it was a loud explosion type sound and all the windows on the north side of the house just popped,” remembers Sandra Ladra.
She was sitting in a chair in the living room when the earthquake hit and a huge three-story rock fireplace came tumbling down. Her son Ryan was sitting in a chair nearby and jumped up to help her get to safety.
“A watermelon sized stone came right over my head and hit her in both of her knees,” recalled Ryan Ladra.
Sandra has since had surgery on one knee and two knee replacements are likely in the future. But as difficult physically as that has been, she said mentally it's been worse.
“It was a long time we could even come back into the house it just scared us so bad,” said Sandra.
They've spent tens of thousands of dollars fixing the house. They’ve replaced doors and plumbing. But there's still so much that needs to be done.
They had to pull up the carpet because of all the dust, so they need new flooring. But first they have to replace the roof. In addition, there are more windows and a back deck that was damaged in the earthquake and still needs to be repaired.
“We’re just doing one thing at a time,” said Sandra.
“I think it really made people realize this is a serious problem we’re facing,” said Robin Greenwald, a New York attorney with the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg. She has now taken on Sandra's lawsuit against two oil companies she claims injected wastewater into the ground and caused the earthquakes.
Greenwald has also filed a class action lawsuit that could include potentially thousands of people in the Prague area.
“People don’t feel safe in their homes and that’s so wrong and so unfair,” said Greenwald.
The suits are asking for monetary damages, protection of venerable structures, and for oil companies to do a study on the safest way to eliminate the cause of the earthquakes.
“It’s been rough, I just don’t want anybody else to go through that,” said Sandra.