The last couple of weeks have seen a number of mishaps involvingnatural gas lines, one of them resulting in fatalities.

Last week, MichCon crews restored gas service to Detroitcustomers after a water main break caused a nearby gas line torupture, creating the largest problem the company said it’s had todeal with in 150 years of serving Detroit.

Elsewhere, gas leaking from a ruptured Northern States Power Co.pipeline exploded, killing four people and destroying threebuildings in downtown St. Cloud, MN, Dec. 11. Sixteen also wereinjured after construction workers apparently ruptured the gasline. Two workers from Northern States Power who had responded tothe leak were killed in the blast. A third victim was a tenant ofan apartment above one of the buildings that collapsed. The fourthvictim was a woman walking in the area. The Minnesota Office ofPipeline Safety sent two inspectors to the scene, and aneight-person team from the National Transportation Safety Boardarrived also was sent. St. Cloud is about 70 miles northwest of theTwin Cities.

And in Continental Divide, NM, there was an explosion and firestemming from a failed gate valve on the El Paso Natural Gasmainline Dec. 12. No injuries were reported, and El Paso said allservice had been restored as of the following evening.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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