Gas pipeline safety is a major, life or death issue, but the country’s major natural gas distributors seem to be largely ignoring it. Pipeline explosions have become so prominent that MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow recently said, “Another day, another pipeline explosion,” during her broadcast after a gas pipeline exploded in Brooke County, West Virginia.
Gas explosions are just business as usual, unfortunately.
About 3 years ago, in December of 2012, a Columbia Gas transmission pipeline exploded in West Virginia in the town of Sissonville, which sits just a few miles from the state capital of Charleston. That explosion ripped through numerous homes and even melted a portion of Interstate 77.
Fortunately, there were no fatalities in the Sissonville explosion, but many lives and families were forever changed in an instant. The attorneys at Warner Law Offices had the great honor of representing several families following the Sissonville explosion against Columbia Gas.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail report on the Sissonville pipeline explosion quoted former West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller: “The NTSB report should be a wake-up call for the pipeline industry. It is unacceptable that the Sissonville pipeline was not tested or inspected since 1988, and alarming that the company’s systems [Columbia Pipeline Group] were not better prepared to detect or respond to this emergency.”
Another year, another pipeline explosion.
In March of 2015, the unfortunate but all-too-common story hit the newswire that yet another community had been devastated by an exploding gas line.
This time, the community was different, but the company was the same. Just outside of Columbus, Ohio, in the city of Upper Arlington, a Columbia Gas pipeline exploded and instantly decimated one home and left surrounding homes unfit for living. Aside from the home that was initially destroyed, several other homes are set for demolition and even more are still undergoing drastic repairs so their residents can eventually return home. Numerous Upper Arlington families have been displaced since the date of the explosion and still have no timetable as to when their homes will be rebuilt or when they can return home.
Miraculously, as in the Sissonville explosion, there were no fatalities in this explosion, but as in Sissonville, the lives of those affected in Upper Arlington (many of whom were home at the time of the blast), will never be the same.
Along with the Fitzsimmons Law Firm, the attorneys at Warner Law Office are once again honored to represent many of the families whose Upper Arlington homes were either destroyed or severely damaged in the explosion.
The fact that no one was killed in either of these explosions is nothing short of amazing. In many other gas explosions across the country, however, the results have been very different, and many people have lost their lives from gas line ruptures. No one knows when or where the next explosion will occur … we only know that it will occur.
It’s time for these gas line distributors to spend the necessary money and take the necessary amount of time to make these pipelines, which run underneath our homes, offices, schools and playgrounds, safe for our families, our homes and our communities.
Image credit: https://flic.kr/p/f9WcRY