OR Gas Pipeline Blast Injures 8

Friday, October 21, 2016 @ 02:10 PM gHale


A subcontractor on a construction job hit a pipeline during excavation which led to a gas explosion that destroyed a historic Northwest Portland, OR, building.

Bremik Construction, the contractor on the project, confirmed the subcontractor is Loy Clark Pipeline of Tualatin.

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“Loy Clark Pipeline Company’s safety record has been exemplary for several decades, earning the company four awards,” according to the company’s website.

“We understand utility notifications, locates and protocols were in place and clearly marked before work proceeded. The subcontractor immediately shut down operations and followed safety protocols, contacting NW Natural and the Portland Fire Bureau who immediately responded,” said Bremik Construction.

Loy Clark Pipeline said the company will cooperate with investigators and partner with Northwest Natural to provide hotel rooms for those affected by the explosion.

“Our priority is assisting those who have been affected and we are working on setting up a location and a phone number for people who have losses associated with this accident,” the company said.

Cleanup and investigations continue one day after two natural gas explosions destroyed a building in a popular and busy residential and commercial section of the city.

Three firefighters, three civilians and two police officers suffered injuries in two simultaneous natural gas explosions that completely destroyed a building at Northwest 23rd Avenue and Glisan Street in Portland Wednesday. There were no fatalities from the explosions.

A contractor cut a gas line outside of the building and gas collected inside, Portland Fire & Rescue Bureau spokesman Lt. Rich Chatman said Thursday. He said investigators have not determined what specifically sparked the blast.

Lt. Peter St. John, who was credited with heroic action, underwent surgery for a broken leg. Chatman said he was in good spirits and met Wednesday with the chief. Also in good spirits were firefighters Bret Kimple and Erik Kent, who were treated and released.

Chatman said they would close off streets in the area all day Thursday at a minimum.

The two injured officers, Larry MacNabb and Chris Kulp, suffered “concussive-type” injuries, said Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson. Both were adamant they remain on the scene and ended up forced to go to the hospital, Simpson said, where they were treated and released.

Loy Clark Pipeline was working on underground lines for new construction Wednesday morning. A worker digging near the telephone pole at the corner of Northwest 23rd and Glisan, directly south and across the street from the site of the explosion, hit a gas line at 8:55 a.m.

Northwest Natural Gas said the gas line was 1-inch in diameter and steel coated. They installed the pipeline in 1985 and it connected to the building that exploded.

The work crew went across the street and informed building occupants they had hit the gas line. Northwest Natural Gas and Portland Fire & Rescue go the call by 9 a.m.



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