Another gas explosion : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Was checking my old hometown newspaper and found this.

What caused gas blast?

By AUSTIN GELDER Pocono Record Writer

STROUDSBURG  The PFG Gas Co. and the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission are still trying to figure out what caused a blast that ripped open a Main Street building Sunday night.

Williams Street and one lane of Main Street remained closed Thursday as workers searched the building and surrounding natural gas lines for clues about the explosion.

Officials know the blast was natural gas-related, but they don't know how enough gas escaped into the Edward R. Lawson Automotive Supplies/Carquest building to cause the explosion.

Four surrounding blocks were evacuated Sunday after a flash of fire burst out of the front windows and ripped a 70-foot long, story-high gash in the west side of the building.

Workers found a leak in a two-inch gas line in front of the building, PP&L spokesman John Drexler reported. PFG Gas is a subsidiary of PP&L.

The break had no rust and appeared to be new, Drexler said.

Investigators are trying to figure out if it was possible for enough gas from the leaky pipe to seep through the ground and into the Lawson building to cause the fiery explosion that shook Main Street shortly after 5 p.m.

They're also looking at the pipes inside the building. Forensic experts are being brought in to help investigate, Drexler said.

The Lawson building had natural gas piped in from the rear of the building, and did not use gas from the leaky line out front.

Natural gas was rerouted to other customers through different pipes after the explosion, and the steel pipe found to have the leak will likely be abandoned, Drexler said.

Investigators will determine if street work done in 1998 could have jostled or otherwise affected gas lines.

Stroudsburg Borough Manager Bob Francis said a portion of Main Street was torn up for construction in 1998. An underground canal that once carried water to Ann Street was caving in, causing the street above to ripple.

The 1998 construction could not have affected the gas lines, Francis said.

The investigation into the explosion isn't expected to be over soon.

"We're looking at weeks," Drexler said.

Traffic already constricted by the closed lane in front of the Lawson building was further impeded Thursday. Water line workers spent the day digging up the other side of the street to replace an underground water valve damaged in Sunday's blast.

That work was expected to be finished by today.

Structural engineers inspected the Lawson building earlier in the week to see if it could be salvaged. The engineers are still preparing their report.

Williams Street, which runs between the Lawson building and Dunkin Donuts, will remain closed until the Lawson building is repaired or torn down, Francis said.

Copyright ) January 28, 2000, Pocono Record Return to

-- Pam (, January 30, 2000


Is that three NG explosions today, or just 2 with one updat? (LA) I DON'T need graphs to know these rates of failure -- especially unexplained failure -- are unprecedented. At least, I think I don't. But if the rates are routine Krempasky will set me straight.


-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), January 30, 2000.

"But if the rates are routine Krempasky will set me straight."

I doubt it Squirell, he appears to be MIA!

-- Duke1983 (, January 31, 2000.

Mr. Krempaskey was posting data on csy2k a day or so ago. Same attitude there as here.

-- Pam (, January 31, 2000.

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