March 13th, 2014
Another Brick in the Wall of Gas Explosion Disasters in NYC
The massive, deadly gas explosion in New York City
continues a trend that becomes more disturbing every day. Aging infrastructure and a persistent failure of gas utilities to inspect, evalutate and maintain their lines are causing lethal explosions across the country. Grieving residents of East Harlem are now just another community left devastated by neglect of the critical safety rules that would allow gas to be a safe, cheap and efficient rule, if companies could only be influenced to follow them.
Three people are now confirmed dead and nine more are still missing.
This photo gives only a glimpse of the scale of the catastrophe.
A steady drumbeat of disasters has marked time, from the enormous catastrophe in San Bruno
four years ago, to the recent disasters right here in our area, including the Tyler County explosion, the Sissonville explosion and fire and this year's Greene County explosion
and fire. These disasters have all proven to be preventable and caused by neglect of safety rules and industry best practices.
: Residents had been reporting gas smells
for some time, but nothing was apparently done. "Like several other neighbors, Rivera said they started smelling gas Tuesday night. "The smell of gas was there since yesterday night," he said."
Explosions like the NYC blast often revolve around the simple failure of gas utilities to pay attention to their lines after they are installed. In some cases, decades pass
without any of the needed inspections and maintenance being done. This can occur even as regulated monopoly utilities seek rate increases from the public based on the need to do this work -- which is then not done.
More about gas explosions, their causes and the disturbingly high rates at which they are occurring can be found here
. This specialized blog really gives you an idea of what a serious problem this is.