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Oklahoma woman's house explodes after sewer, gas line mishap


Gazette staff January 11th, 2007

Forgive that headline, dear CFN reader, but what are we gonna say about this one?   According to recent stories in The Oklahoman, the home o...

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Forgive that headline, dear CFN reader, but what are we gonna say about this one?

 

According to recent stories in The Oklahoman, the home of an 88-year-old Madill woman exploded after city workers drilled through a gas line that happened to have been laid in her sewer pipe more than 10 years ago. Now she's out one house.

 

Gertrude Dunn and her son, Max, were out running errands that morning when a city crew, doing routine maintenance, cut the gas line, Madill Fire Chief Keith Pruitt said in the story.

 

"The city workers were doing routine maintenance on some sewer lines on the 200 block of Second Street," Pruitt said. "They hit what they thought were roots, and attached a root-cutting apparatus. But what they thought were roots was actually a gas line."

 

After attaching the root-cutting apparatus (a super-duper drain snake), Pruitt said the crew went forward unawares, according to the story.

 

"Apparently, back in 1992, a new gas line was laid in that area. The gas line was bored right through the middle of the sewer pipe. There was no way those city workers even knew that line was there. They immediately contacted the gas company and put us on standby," Pruitt said.

 

Upon cutting that gas line, natural gas (over and above the natural gas one expects from a poop pipe) started flowing into the sewer line and up into area homes, according to Pruitt, in the story. And that's when the shit really hit the fan.

 

"The gas continued to flow into the homes, and found an open pilot light at the Dunn residence," Pruitt said in another story. "Witnesses said they saw the roof blow 30 to 40 feet in the air, "¦ the windows were blown some 100 to 150 feet away, and the home was completely destroyed."

 

Wow. Needless to say, when Gertrude, who is nearly blind, and her son, Max, who takes care of her in the home, returned, they didn't have a home anymore, the stories state. That's when the finger-pointing started. Oops, make that not pointing fingers, according to Pruitt.

 

"I don't see where the city is liable for anything," Pruitt said in one story. "There was no way they knew that gas line was there. But no one is pointing fingers at anyone else at this point. The investigation is still ongoing."

 

Stay tuned on this one, folks.

 
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