Chicken-Fried News: Dangerous detonation 

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Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) is facing a lawsuit and uneasy residents seeking answers in the fallout over a natural gas explosion at 12505 Whispering Hollow Drive, near NW 122nd Street and N. Rockwell Avenue, at 3:15 a.m. Jan. 2.

The plaintiff, Jonathan Duggan, was asleep in his home when it exploded. He suffered serious burns on his legs.

Fifty homes were affected by the blast, and 24 people were forced to evacuate the area, NewsOK.com reported Jan. 2.

“It felt like an earthquake. The house shook. Plates broke. Everything just went really bad. Power flickered on and off, and I just didn’t know what all was happening until I looked outside and saw that there was a fire,” Austin Melton, who lived across the street from Duggan, told NewsOK.com.

Duggan is seeking damages in excess of $225,000 from the utility provider. Duggan believes ONG is guilty of negligence, failing to remedy the problem, creating a hazard and failing to inform residents of the danger.

“He’s asleep, and when he wakes up, there are no walls anymore and he’s in boxers and a T-shirt, running around barefoot,” Luke Abel, Duggan’s attorney, told NewsOK.com. “As anyone can imagine, that’s a traumatic experience to go through.”

A 3 1/2-inch crack in a polyethylene pipe and a bad weld were found to be the cause of the explosion. NewsOK.com reported that ONG blamed “poor workmanship” for the blast.

Some neighborhood residents have “been pressured to sign what they considered unfair settlements” and 30 others have settled with ONG, according to NewsOK.com, while additional residents have had no contact with the company.

ONG is required to maintain leak surveys in case the Oklahoma Corporation Commission needs to review them but is not required to file them.

ONG declined to make its records available to the public.

Print headline: Dangerous detonation

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