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The Suburbanite
  • Still no cause for New Franklin gas line rupture

  • More than a week after a gas line in the city ruptured, Dominion East Ohio officials have yet to the determine the cause.

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  • More than a week after a gas line in the city ruptured, Dominion East Ohio officials have yet to the determine the cause.
    “We have sent the section of pipe to a lab,” Dominion spokesperson Tracy Oliver said, adding that the company will use that information as part of its follow-up inspection of all area lines.
    The ruptured section of the 8-inch natural gas line was part of a compression system that leads to a storage well.
    “Our operating system monitors the flow of gas through the whole system at all times,” Oliver said.  “The monitoring system indicated a failure around 6:30 a.m. and we dispatched a crew out.”
    The gas line ruptured between 6 and 6:15 a.m. July 23 at a well on Dailey Road, between Center and Nimisila roads. The pipe that failed was constructed in 1957 and was neither among the oldest nor newest in the system.
    “Anything after the mid-1950s was installed with coating, so there is no significant difference in them,” Oliver said.
    Dominion gas lines are inspected on-site on an annual basis and must comply with all state and federal regulations and maintenance schedules. Oliver was unaware of the most recent inspection for the New Franklin gas line that ruptured.
    There was concern from neighbors when a sound described as “an explosion” was heard several streets away from the site. Local police and fire officials made the decision to evacuate the area immediately after the rupture.
    “There was a lot of gas coming out (of the line) so we decided to evacuate,” New Franklin Police Detective Michael Hitchings said. “We tried to contact everyone on Center (Road) and South Main (Street), south to Yeager (Road) and west over to Renniger Road – we had officers going door to door letting people know.”
    Dominion officials shut down the line  by 7:35 a.m. – a typical time frame  according to Oliver. There were no injuries or loss of services reported.
    The evacuation was lifted when safety services were assured by Dominion crews at the scene that the gas from the line had dissipated upward, causing no safety concerns to residents.
    Police received the first 911 call of the “explosion” as early as 6 a.m.
    “We were told it was something that sounded like an explosion – I think one person described it as an airplane,” Hitchings said. “Thankfully there was no explosion and the noise heard was pressure releasing from the line when it let loose and failed.”

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