This Week In Natural Gas Leaks and Explosions – July 16, 2012Jul 16th, 2012 | By fjgallagher | Category: Lead Articles, Natural Gas Explosions
Ah, summer – that languid season of barbecues, baseball, vacations and, unfortunately, natural gas explosions. Clearly it’s been a while since we put out an edition of “This Week In Natural Gas Leaks and Explosions,” so with that in mind, we’ll concentrate on recent explosions for this issue and resume our more comprehensive coverage next week when our regularly scheduled coverage returns. So let’s get right to it, then, shall we?
A natural gas leak destroyed a house in Charlotte, New York, shortly before 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 15, according to media reports describing the blast. Crews from eight local fire deparmtments responded to blast, only to find the house fully engulfed in flames by the time they arrived. The occupants of the house were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released. The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation team determined that the explosion was caused by a natural gas leak in the basement.
A natural gas leak triggered a natural gas explosion that destroyed a house in Galloway Township, New Jersey, on Thursday, July 12. According to the township’s Fire Inspector, natural gas had been building up in the house’s basement for a while until a spark, most likely from a water heater pilot light, ignited the fugitive fuel.
“The homeowners might not have had an inkling it was happening,” (Fire Inspector Scott) Feldman said. “They were very lucky that most of the explosion occurred in the crawl space of the house. Even though things broke in the house, they didn’t get the concussion of the actual explosion.”
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Also on Thursday, July 12, a massive natural gas explosion in St. Louis, Missouri, sent flames shooting more than 30 feet into the air and forced the evacuation of three area apartment complexes, according to media accounts. According media coverage of the natural gas explosion, a repair crew from Ameren, the utility that owns and operates the natural gas pipeline, triggered the blast as they worked to repair the pipeline. No injuries were reported.
Authorities suspect a natural gas leak caused a massive explosion in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Saturday, July 14, that critically injured one person.
From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:
On the northwest corner of Sallie and Bayer avenues, the two-story house that once stood at 1701 Bayer was now rubble. The back door had been launched 50 feet. The front door had landed across the street. The south wall was blown out and resting against a utility pole. Broken glass littered the street and sidewalk.
On Wednesday, July 11, an explosion that firefighters are attributing to natural gas explosion destroyed a home owned and occupied by a woman in Canton, Ohio. Canton Fire Department Battalion Chief Akbar Bennett told WJW-TV Fox 8 that firefighters saw blue flames, indicating that natural gas was involved in the explosion. Andrea Phillips, the owner of the home, was out at the time of the natural gas explosion and was not injured, however, several dogs were injured in the blast, Akbar to the news station.
A Horton, Kansas, man, identified as Ronnie Tulk, 58, died on Tuesday, July 10, the victim of an explosion that authorities are attributing to natural gas, according to recent media reports. Horton Police Chief Beau Hasenohr said in a news release: “The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s office is assisting in the investigation of the blast and preliminary findings are that of a probable gas explosion. The investigation is still ongoing.”
A June 25 natural gas explosion at a La Plata County, Colorado, compressor station owned and operated by BP killed one and injured two others, according to media reports describing the incident. The facility, which takes in gas obtained from hydraulic fracturing wells and compresses it for transportation through transmission pipelines to storage and distribution networks leading to retail markets, is one of two owned and operated by BP in the area. The blast closed a portion of Colorado’s Highway 160 for several hours. According to a story in the Durango Herald, the workers on site The workers on site were contractors from Alcorn Construction Inc., Crossfire LLC and Halliburton, although it is unclear which company”s workers were killed or injured.