Deadly PA Pipeline Blast from ‘Imperfection’

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 04:02 PM gHale


An “imperfection” in a pipe may have caused the gas explosion that killed five people in Allentown, PA, last week, investigators said.

The Feb. 9 explosion flattened a pair of row houses and set fire to a block of homes, killing five people — including a 4-month-old boy and a 16-year-old girl.

The explosion emanated from an underground gas main that lacked shut-off valves. It took utility workers five hours of punching through ice, asphalt and concrete to seal the 12-inch main.

On Saturday, investigators said they were looking at an abnormality in a section of pipe.

Fire Chief Robert Scheirer said workers were going to dig up the section of pipe and take a closer look. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will then send the pipe to a forensics expert.



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