The natural gas explosion that killed one utility worker and injured at least seven more in Texas Monday was under investigation by OSHA and other agencies today as authorities try to determine if the gas line struck by the crew was properly marked. The crew was drilling holes for utility poles near Cleburne at the time of the explosion.
According to the Associated Press,
Near the blast site in rural Johnson County about 50 miles southwest of Dallas, officials later found the truck upside down and saw that the 2,000-pound drilling component had been ripped off the vehicle and hurled 250 feet away, said Cleburne Fire Chief Clint Ishmael.
We have all seen signs notifying us of numbers to call before digging around buried cables, gas lines or other utilities, and this accident reminds us to heed those warnings. These workers were trained professionals who do this type of work every day, so imagine how easily property owners or contraction workers could hit the wrong unmarked buried utility, potentially endangering themselves and, perhaps, entire neighborhoods. In order to help avoid potential tragedies, there is a federally-mandated Call-Before-You-Dig phone number (8-1-1).
Keep yourselves, your families and your friends safe. Know what’s below. Call before you dig, and have your utility lines marked.