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natural gas 68 articles

Columbia Gas Costs For Mass. Explosions Top $1 Billion

Columbia Gas and its parent company NiSource expect to pay about $1.3 billion for damages related to a series of natural gas explosions that destroyed parts of three Massachusetts towns in September. The company said that those costs don’t include expenses related to restoration efforts, such as replacing pipeline and modernizing its infrastructure to prevent a similar event from happening in the future. According to the Associated Press, the NiSource’s latest financial reports show the company allocated $757 million to third-party claims filed against the utility, including property damage. The utility incurred an additional $266 million for other expenses related ... Read More

Gas Explosion Survivor Calls for Safety Reforms

A Colorado woman whose husband and brother were killed in a natural gas explosion two years ago spoke publicly in support of reforming and strengthening safety, health, and environmental regulations governing the gas industry statewide. Erin Martinez was at her home in Firestone, Colorado with her son, husband, and brother when an accumulation of natural gas from a broken subterranean line ignited, causing a massive explosion that destroyed the house. Ms. Martinez remembers “being blown through the air and trapped between falling debris.” Her son also managed to crawl out of the wreckage, but her husband and brother didn’t survive ... Read More

Atmos Energy Seeks Rate Hike in Wake of Deadly Gas Explosion

A year after a gas explosion destroyed a Dallas, Texas home, killing a 12-year-old girl and injuring four others, utility owner Atmos Energy is seeking a rate hike that would allow it to pull in an additional $10.1 million. The proposed rate hike, filed Jan. 15 in Dallas City Hall, comes as Atmos Energy continues to replace pipes in the northwest Dallas neighborhood where three gas explosions erupted on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 of last year. Investigators say the explosion that killed 12-year-old Linda Rogers on Feb. 23 could be linked to faulty compression couplings that can separate when ... Read More

Contractors Cited for Wisconsin Gas Explosion

Federal authorities investigating a natural gas explosion that destroyed a city block of downtown Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and killed a business owner have faulted two utility contractors, alleging they failed to follow proper safety procedures before drilling underground lines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assessed one serious penalty each for Kansas-based Bear Communications and VC Tech of Michigan and proposed the maximum allowable fine of $12,934. Verizon contracted Bear Communications to run fiber optic cable lines under the city. Bear Communications subcontracted VC Tech to perform horizontal directional boring – a technique used in laying underground lines without ... Read More

Wisconsin Gas Explosion Victims Seek Justice

Three people harmed by the gas explosion that leveled an entire block of downtown Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, have filed lawsuits against the utilities and contractors they say are responsible for the deadly blast. Abigail Barr, the widow of firefighter Cory Barr, filed a lawsuit Dec. 20, the same day authorities announced there would be no criminal charges in connection with the blast. Mr. Barr was killed in the July 10 gas explosion that destroyed a bar he owned and several other buildings. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Barr was not on the premises to respond to the emergency. The blast ... Read More

Contractor Caused Deadly Gas Explosion in Canton, Illinois, NTSB Finds

A contractor drilling cable lines damaged a gas pipe, triggering an explosion in downtown Canton, Illinois, two years ago that killed one man and injured nearly a dozen others, federal investigators determined. The National Transportation Safety Board’s report on the Nov. 16, 2016, gas explosion pinned blame on Sure Shot Communications of Brimfield, Illinois, but also found the utility company Ameren failed to adequately evacuate the affected area once the breach was discovered. According to the Peoria Journal Star, Sure Shot violated a state law when it failed to excavate a concrete sidewalk atop the gas line before drilling. Illinois ... Read More

St. Paul House Explosion Injures One Man, Displaces Several Others

An explosion believed to be caused by natural gas leveled a house in St. Paul, Minnesota, seriously injuring one man and leading authorities to condemn all the structures on the block. The Nov. 23 explosion remains under investigation, but officials said that the blast may have been triggered by a natural gas line. Some residents reported the smell of gas, according to ABC Eyewitness News Chicago. Responders to the scene of the explosion found 80-year-old John Lundahl among the debris. Officials told WCCO CBS 4 Minnesota that Mr. Lundahl’s feet were sticking out of the rubble and he was conscious ... Read More

Widow Sues Honeywell Over Husband’s Gas Explosion Death

The widow of a utility worker who was killed in a July 2017 gas explosion in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Honeywell International and other defendants, alleging their errors claimed the life of her husband. Richard Bouder, 54, was part of a three-worker UGI crew responding to reports of a gas odor at a house in Manor Township when a gas explosion leveled the house and rocked the surrounding neighborhood. Mr. Bouder was killed in the blast and the other two workers were seriously injured. Kim Bouder’s complaint, filed in Philadelphia County Court, includes claims ... Read More

Columbia Gas Could Face Criminal Charges For Massachusetts Explosions

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its parent company NiSource are under a criminal investigation over the natural gas explosions that triggered a series of explosions and fires across three communities Sept. 13, killing one person and injuring about two dozen others. NiSource disclosed the criminal investigation in regulatory filings, saying a federal grand jury served it and Columbia Gas subpoenas on Sept. 24, Reuters reported. The utility companies say they are cooperating with the ongoing probe, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts is conducting. The grand jury is looking for evidence that Columbia Gas acted with neglect or other misconduct ... Read More

Family Plans To Sue Columbia Gas Over Teen’s Gas Explosion Death

The family of an 18-year-old student who was killed in the Columbia Gas explosions that rocked three Massachusetts towns in September plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the utility company. Leonel Rondon, a high school junior from Lawrence, Massachusetts, was sitting in his SUV with three other friends when the Columbia Gas explosions occurred, toppling the brick chimney of a friend’s house where Mr. Rondon’s car was parked. The heavy structure fatally injured Mr. Rondon, who had just gotten his driver’s license a few hours before the pipeline blasts erupted throughout the Merrimack Valley. He died in the ... Read More