Gas Lines Beset by Ruptures, Explosions
The last couple of weeks have seen a number of mishaps involving
natural gas lines, one of them resulting in fatalities.
Last week, MichCon crews restored gas service to Detroit
customers after a water main break caused a nearby gas line to
rupture, creating the largest problem the company said it's had to
deal with in 150 years of serving Detroit.
Elsewhere, gas leaking from a ruptured Northern States Power Co.
pipeline exploded, killing four people and destroying three
buildings in downtown St. Cloud, MN, Dec. 11. Sixteen also were
injured after construction workers apparently ruptured the gas
line. Two workers from Northern States Power who had responded to
the leak were killed in the blast. A third victim was a tenant of
an apartment above one of the buildings that collapsed. The fourth
victim was a woman walking in the area. The Minnesota Office of
Pipeline Safety sent two inspectors to the scene, and an
eight-person team from the National Transportation Safety Board
arrived also was sent. St. Cloud is about 70 miles northwest of the
And in Continental Divide, NM, there was an explosion and fire
stemming from a failed gate valve on the El Paso Natural Gas
mainline Dec. 12. No injuries were reported, and El Paso said all
service had been restored as of the following evening.
Joe Fisher, Houston
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