Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities
SECTION 03: KEY SAFETY MESSAGES
Incidents • The Gas Technology Institute reported 18 major cross- bore incidents between 2002 and 2012. The Cross Bore Safety Association reports claims paid have been as high as $30 million for incidents that involved a single house and those injured. • An explosion and fire destroyed a single-family home and substantially damaged others surrounding it. The incident occurred when the homeowner was trying to clear a clogged sewer pipe with a drain auger device. The machine became stuck in the sewer pipe and his efforts to clear the device were unsuccessful. He decided to leave it and retry the next morning. He placed a rag over the open sewer line because he stated the odor from the sewer was very strong. The next morning the homeowner returned to the crawl space to attempt to clear the obstruction. His wife went to the second floor and opened a window to let fresh air in because of the strong odor in the house. It was shortly thereafter the explosion occurred. The husband sustained second-degree burns and minor injuries. The wife injured her knee and sustained minor burns. These incidents highlight the importance of educating homeowners, plumbers, and drain cleaners to recognize the hazards associated with cross-bored natural gas lines and to take all precautions to avoid damaging them.
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