Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities
SECTION 03: KEY SAFETY MESSAGES
Incidents • A backhoe operator excavating for a storm drain ignored the utility’s markings and instead relied on outdated maps of the area. The operator punctured a three-inch natural gas line. The resulting explosion destroyed a supermarket, damaged several nearby businesses and residences, and injured 15 people. • A contractor known for not requesting the location of underground utilities was installing water and sewer lines to a residence. The lines crossed under the natural gas services. The weight of construction vehicles driven across a new ditch where the lines intersected caused the natural gas service to sink nine inches. As a result, a connector separated and leaking natural gas migrated to the house, causing an explosion. A 2-year-old boy received burns over 30% of his body. The boy’s mother was killed. These incidents reinforce the importance of utility Public Safety Communications Programs that motivate excavators to comply with requirements for having buried natural gas lines located and marked before digging or drilling.
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