Skip to comments.Springfield explosion cause: 'Human error,' Massachusetts fire marshal says
Posted on 11/25/2012 2:37:15 PM PST by matt04
The massive explosion that rocked Springfield's entertainment district, leveling a strip club and injuring 21 people, was caused by "human error," according to Massachusetts Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan.
Officials said a thorough, block-by-block investigation since Friday's blast indicates the city's gas system is safe, intact and functioning properly.
The probe will now focus on the Columbia Gas employee responsible for puncturing a gas line with a tool, and whether proper protocol was followed in the build-up to Friday's explosion. The blast injured 21 people, damaged more than three dozen buildings, and prompted a large-scale evacuation of the city's downtown entertainment district.
"Human error ... is what the cause of the explosion was," Coan said Sunday, attributing the origins of the blast to a utility worker who punctured an underground gas line with a metal probing tool.
Street markings showing the location of underground gas lines were incorrectly placed, Coan said, adding that further investigation by the state Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will focus on why that was the case. State Engery and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., who oversees the DPU, will ultimately oversee the probe at this point.
(Excerpt) Read more at masslive.com ...
Something seems suspicious. I've seen crews take those metal probes, stick them in the ground and take measurements.
For that to puncture a gas pipe seems strange. If the pipe was really that shallow and in that bad of shape than someone besides the worker has some explaining to do.
“Dig Safe” fail
There are old piped utilities all over the nation. A good understanding of all the factors that control service life was only really really reached in the last 25 years. All utilities put in place prior to that are a crap shoot.
You have concrete resistance to certain chemicals, cathodic protection, pipe materials and joining, bedding issues and proximity of other utilities with constant changes. This sort of problem is very common and it is often luck that keeps the failures from being this bad more often.
Saw video of the entire explosion this morning. Why the city cam was pointed at a strip club may remain a mystery.
Early June 2011, Springfield was hit hard by a tornado, and people are still trying to recover. Sad Springfield is such a seedy place, maybe it should be leveled and rebuilt again.
Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., who oversees the DPU, will ultimately oversee the probe at this point
Hey guys, let's go down to the entertainment district and go probing, it'll be a blast!
It’s a shame that people were hurt, but I am not sorry that the strip club got destroyed.
It's a Combat Zone...Red Light District.
It's the Bic lighter's fault.
I’ve seen gas utilties use long drill bits to create test holes into which they drop gas detector tubes to determine if gas is leaking under the surface of say an asphalt driveway.
Oh man that place is national treasuer, as well as Albano’s Italian Ice, and LaForentia’s Cannoli’s.....
That didn’t look big enough to destroy 42 buildings unless they were all ready to fall down anyway
They may be the best but Mrs Murphy's in Southwick are the Best-est! :)
I’ve seen that also. However the hole in the pipe doesn’t looked drilled. I would assume they stop drilling the second they hit soil to avoid drilling into a pipe.
Out front, there was a lever action DIME Coke machine!
Just look for them when the red light is lit!!! They are fantabulous!
Nah, these are the Best-est! LOL
We just hijacked an explosion thread with Donuts :)
Well, it could be BBQ! These are neighbors of mine, but they Fedex all over the country! Mmmmm gud!
Sorry, those aren’t donuts, they’re grease soaked bits of fog. A donut has substance. Krispy Kremes are about half a donut.
As a utility worker that sometimes requires a "line spot" to complete some below ground work, we had an incident were one of the power utilities sent an idiot to do the check. We were driving grounding rods into sand/clay/loam-type soil and needed to go down quite a ways for a good ground. The power company sent someone over and they looked at their drawings and told us there was nothing down there. Couple hours later water & sewer and the gas company showed up and marked their respective lines. I noticed on both their drawings they showed buried power lines. Called the power company back and requested a redo on the line spot. Argued with the foreman about it for 20 minutes and pissed him off so bad he went with his supervisor, just so he had a witness that I'm an idiot before he called my division manager. Lo and behold, there were 7 1-million volt lines right where we were going to drive solid copper grounding rods. Never did get an apology, just some smug satisfaction and the fact that I was alive at the end of another day.
The camera is a traffic cam that was turned in that direction about an hour earlier. The gas leak was discovered about 4:30, the area started getting evacuated so the camera was turned towards that area. The explosion was an hour later.
It was the same camera that caught a rare deadly tornado last year. They’ve gotten their money’s worth out of that.
Ahhh....the strip club is out of that area.
Jeez, Springfield has enough problems without misleading the world. Either you do not know what the “combat zone” was, or you haven’t seen the bars and nightclubs on Worthington St in Springfield.
While it ain’t Disneyland, it sure as hell isn’t the 1970’s Combat Zone....
The pipe in that photo was near failure anyway, it’s 90% rust.
“Ahhh....the strip club is out of that area.”
Yes, it blew up
Mardi Gras is still open - next street over.....
I don’t go to Springfield after dark - during the day is bad enough.
Here’s an after-video of the explosion shot by some gang banger in the hood.(warning-language)
You must be that skinny white guy that thinks every black person is a pimp and drug dealer.
Springfield is not the city of homes as it was. But you can take your skinny white ass back to Longmeadow and eat at Max Bugers on Friday night. Oh wait...you don’t go out on Friday night do you?
I’m a woman.
(you must not have listened to that video, they didn’t portray themselves as upstanding citizens as they were ID’ing unmarked law enforcement vehicles)
I didn’t realize there were FReepers working at the Spfld Tourism Board.
I don’t care if you are a woman or not. It is clear that you don’t know what you are talking about. That street has more popular restaraunts and clubs on it than any other part of town.
I’ve lived here for fifty years and I get tired of the people from the surrounding towns coming here to get their pay...but then scurrying home and talking about how horrible it is.
Is it so horrible to want to tell the truth? I am not suggesting there are not problems, but it’s not Sodom.
And you ARE from one of the Meadows aren’t you?
I’m not from one of the meadows nor live there now.
I grew up near Boston.
My work takes me to Springfield on occasion, thank goodness not that much now, used to go to Springfield at night, no more, you can keep it - Hey, less line wait for you!
Thanks for calling me skinny - made my day.
To know they are a true *family-owned* generational, small business [conservative folks] makes the place more endearing.
Next time you’re there note the number of skid marks on the raod about 20’ from their 2nd driveway.............probably from folks who drove past and slammed on their brakes [like me]. :)
Worth a trip from anywhere!
Not so many years ago we had a few Krispy Kremes open in CT....they seemed to be well received...with lines forming for service by the news outlets. I see now, they are all closed...the only one in the state at the Mohegan Sun casino.
Generally, I think in New England, people prefer Dunkin. As far as the Krispy Kreme donuts I’ve had...they have to be eaten on the spot....you can’t hold them over to the next morning.
OK...next time..I’ll try Mrs Murphy’s ...it better be good!
Nice....a colleague recommended I go to the *Student Prince*....I treated friends to the dinner....and we still laugh about how swarmy the area was...also how run-down the restaurant was. Eeuw! Not worth it. Sorry you take so personally the druggies in the dark doorways and panhandling.
Like many urban cities...Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, New Britain ...I wouldn’t recommend them for an evening out.