This Week In Natural Gas Leaks and Explosions – March 25, 2013Mar 25th, 2013 | By fjgallagher | Category: Lead Articles, Natural Gas Leaks
Natural gas leaks and explosions caused significant damage throughout Colorado and many other areas throughout the country in recent days.
On Tuesday, March 19, a massive natural gas explosion in Grand Junction, Colorado, destroyed two homes and sent three people to the hospital according to recent media reports. The natural gas company, Xcel Energy, and the City of Grand Junction continue to monitor the area for additional natural gas leaks.
The incident touched off a massive evacuation as hundreds of area residents fled their homes, businesses and classrooms as authorities cordoned off an area of nearly two square blocks around where the blast occurred.
Ed. Note – If you enjoy the coverage and content you receive here at NaturalGasWatch.org, please take a moment to click on one of the advertisements you will find on the right-hand side of the page. Your support will help us keep this site up and running. Thanks for your support. Fj
From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:
Jason Brenton, a CMU track coach, was walking to Grand Junction High through an alley that runs right by the house when it exploded. “There were two kids that legitimately got blown out of the house,” Brenton said, describing a third person as appearing “fine.” He rushed to help the two college-aged students with burn injuries. One had burns on his arm and hand, and the other had burns on his face and side, Brenton said.
Just two days earlier, a natural gas explosion tore apart an apartment building in Westminster, Colorado, – also an Xcel Energy territory – injuring 6 people and forcing 80 others to evacuate their homes; according to recent media reports, 21 people remain homeless as a result of the blast.
A natural gas explosion in a the boiler room of a medical building in Spokane, Washington, sent one person to the hospital on Monday, March 18. According to a recent story in the Spokesman-Review, Spokeane Asst. Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said a repairman was working on the boiler in the basement when there was a flash explosion. “The explosion actually blew the doors off the entryway to the boiler room,” Schaeffer told the newspaper.
An explosion at a natural gas-powered power plant in Long Beach, California, terrified area residents on Wednesday, March 20, according to recent media reports. According to recent story in Power, a trade journal for the power generation industry, a ruptured steam pipe at the natural gas-fired AES Alamitos Generating Station caused the blast, which was heard by people for miles around.
In Princeton, New Jersey, a natural gas fire burned for more than six hours and precipitated the evacuation of eight area homes, according to a recent media report. According to a NJ.com story, first responders were unable to extinguish the flames shooting from a six-inch gas line that had been punctured by a road-milling machine operated by a paving crew. The incident remains under investigation by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and the owner of the paving company that owned the machine said the street was not marked to indicate the presence of a natural gas pipeline.
On Friday, March 22, a 24-inch natural gas gathering pipeline owned by the Williams Companies ruptured in West Virginia. No one was hurt in the incident, and a Williams Companies spokesperson refused to say how much methane was released into the atmosphere as a result of the break.
A fire at a natural gas compressor station in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, injured a worker at the facility, according to a recent media report describing the incident. The compressor station is owned and operated by Southwestern Energy.
And remember, this report is by no means comprehensive; time and space constrain the ability to note every incident. Were we to include all the leaks and explosions that occur routinely throughout the United States, this feature would be much, much longer.