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Print Shop Explosion Caused by Gas Pipe with History of Problems

The pipe could’ve been replaced years ago, if not for a documentation error.




A fuel-air explosion caused by the ignition of a natural gas leak blew off the roof of Platinum Printing in Chandler, Arizona, injuring the four men inside. | Credit: @whitneyclarktv

Police in Chandler, Arizona determined that the explosion which blew off the roof of Platinum Printing and injured the four men inside was due to an accidental natural gas leak, reports.

Following up on the police’s conclusion, the local ABC15 news station learned that the type of pipe that caused the explosion had a prior history of leaks and explosions.

Southwest Gas, the company that installed the Driscopipe 8000 which leaked inside the print shop, said the pipe is prone to degradation and leaks under certain conditions, particularly Arizona’s dry-heat climate.

Additionally, the pipe used near the building where the explosion occurred was misidentified in the construction records. Because of this documentation error, the defective pipe was exempted from a previous remediation effort the company had undertaken several years prior to replace the at-risk pipe sections in the Chandler area. The article says it’s unclear how much pipe still needs to be replaced.

Southwest Gas said it’s investigating how the documentation error was made and also implementing a new remediation plan.

Read more at ABC 15.


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