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Thread: Topeka Kansas House Explosion

  1. #1
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Topeka Kansas House Explosion



    By Tim Hrenchir - February 4, 2012 - 5:01pm
    THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL

    Lucinia “Lucy” Tolliver, 81, died Friday after being injured in a natural gas explosion at her Topeka home, her nephew Mark Meers said Saturday.

    Tolliver had been admitted to The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., after a sudden natural gas explosion shortly before 11:40 a.m. Monday at her home at 1905 S.W. Navajo, authorities said.

    Topeka Fire Department Investigator Mike Martin said a contractor excavating late Monday morning in a yard at 1912 S.W. Arrowhead Road, directly west of Tolliver’s home, hit a natural gas service line and caused it to separate from the main line about 6 feet underground.

    Martin said natural gas, which is lighter than air, dissipates as it rises into the atmosphere and follows the path of least resistance to escape.

    Because the breach occurred deep underground, the gas could have entered Tolliver’s home via such routes as a pipe, sewer line or cracks in the dirt, Martin said.

    “It had to find its path out of there, and through whatever set of circumstances it found its way into 1905 Navajo,” he said.

    Tom Shimon, executive director of Kansas One-Call, said the Wetmore-based excavation company — N-Line Lawn Service — had called the state’s underground utility notification center to report it would be installing a line sprinkler system at 1912 S.W. Arrowhead Road.

    Steve Moulin, a resident of the neighborhood where Tolliver lived, said a Kansas Gas Service employee pulled Tolliver from the home’s burning wreckage before Moulin and the gas service worker lifted her over a chain-link fence to another gas service worker.

    Moulin said an appliance repairman who had visited Tolliver’s home that morning to check her electric stove had noticed a strong natural gas odor and told her she should get it checked.

    Tolliver called to report the odor, then — when the smell became too strong for her to take — went outside to her backyard shortly before the house exploded, Moulin said.

    The blast was heard and felt for miles.



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  2. #2
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Topeka Kansas House Explosion

    I hope the locate was done properly.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Topeka Kansas House Explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    I hope the locate was done properly.
    It is customary following a catastrophic occurrence, such as this, for the presiding judge to split the jury's monetary decision amongst all party's involved; i.e. the party with the deepest pockets pays more. This is a given if fingers are pointing in all directions and the perpetrator is broke.

    Everybody involved pays if the judge hears arguments such as, "It was marked but not flagged;" or, "The marks were 6" off;" or, "There was no safety shut-off valve at the gas tap;" or, "The gas main was way to deep to make the gas repair expedient;" or, "That gas line should not have pulled out of the tap;" or, "That gas service line should have been deeper than it was."

    When it comes to utility damages with fatalities, it doesn't matter who was in the right, it's all about who has the ability to pay.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Topeka Kansas House Explosion

    I surfed in to the Kansas One-Call dig center website. Here you cannot check the status of a ticket. You can only submit an e-mail request for the result of a ticket and in a few days, apparently if the decided you have a right to know, will send you back the information.

    So if they were digging ahead of their ticket, after it had expired or if it was coded out as marked or clear cannot be know by us.

    Let this be a very important lesson to the new locators. Here they were installing a lawn sprinkler which is commonly a shallow dig. You never know how deep they are going to dig or if the utility is unusually shallow. Treat every locate as they were trying to dig down to the earth's core.

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