PUBLIC SAFETY
6:04 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Springfield Blast Due to Human Error

Residents walk through debris a block away from the site of the Springfield gas explosion on Nov. 24.
Residents walk through debris a block away from the site of the Springfield gas explosion on Nov. 24.
Credit Jessica Hill / AP

Human error was the cause of a gas explosion in Springfield that injured 18 people on Nov. 26. State fire marshal Stephen Coan has said a gas company worker responding to reports of a natural gas leak in western Massachusetts punctured a pipe, leading an unknown spark to cause a massive explosion. 

Authorities on Sunday did not name the Columbia Gas Go. worker who pierced the high-pressure pipe in Springfield. After authorities cordoned off the area on Saturday, building inspectors found the blast damaged 42 buildings housing 115 units. Three of the buildings were immediately condemned. 

Coan said it was a miracle that no one was killed in the blast. Most of the injured were part of a group of gas workers, firefighters and police officers who ducked for cover behind a utility truck just before the blast. None of the injuries these individuals suffered are life-threatening. 

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. 

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