November 25, 2012: bizarre twist to the story. It appears "the gas company" responded to calls of natural gas odors. The employee started poking around, looking for the source of the leak. He inadvertently punctured a high-pressure natural gas line; the club filled with natural gas; and then exploded. Current conclusions:
"They have determined that human error as opposed to a fault of the gas infrastructure provided the fuel for the explosion," fire marshal Coan's office said of investigators in the release. "Exactly whose human error will be the subject of the [Massachusetts] Department of Public Utilities’ ongoing investigation."So, the spin game has begun. There was no fault with the gas infrastructure. It was some employee poking around and inadvertently punctured a high-pressure natural gas line. Okay.
The moral of the story, so far: if you smell what seems to be a natural gas leak, just use a deodorizing spray to cover up the smell. Do not -- repeat, do not -- call the gas company if they are going to simply poke around high-pressure gas lines.
Original Post.... and level strip clubs.
I cannot make this up. [Update: I received one comment suggesting this was the dumbest post ever: interestingly, CBS has picked up the same story after my earlier post. Forty-two (42) buildings damaged -- some beyond repair -- by greenhouse gas explosion. See below. Yes, a reporter said this was the result of greenhouse gasses. I cannot make this up.]
From the Boston Globe, gas explosion levels Springfield strip club.
The Springfield, Massachusetts, explosion leveled a "downtown strip club in the city's entertainment district," but fortunately there were no injuries. The odor of natural gas had been detected earlier in the afternoon and officials had evacuated the building and the surrounding area. The explosion blew out windows in several nearby windows. Interestingly enough, the odor of leaking gas had been detected earlier this year, but apparently the owners of the club used spray deodorizers to mask the smell. Okay. Problem number 1.
From the article:
The blast comes less than a week after a Boston University-led study showed that Boston’s aging underground pipeline system is riddled with more than 3,300 leaks.And then this, verbatim, cut and paste from near the end of the article:
While the vast majority [of those 3,300 leaks] are not considered a safety risk, the study underscored the explosion risk and environmental damage — the gas is a powerful greenhouse gas and can damage trees — that exists under older city sidewalks and streets. Study authors said any older city — Springfield is one — would have similar problems.And that, as much as anything, I guess, exemplifies the danger of greenhouse gases. And America's college educated.
But it is true: those 3,300 leaks are probably pouring more natural gas into the atmosphere than Bakken wells. Remember, only a tiny minority of all wells ever drilled in North Dakota are still flaring natural gas, and those that are will soon be hooked up to non-leaking natural gas pipelines.
The question is this: is there a list of those 3,300 leaks? One would think inquiring minds would like to know. Especially if one lives in Springfield. And exactly how is "majority" defined? Based on the article, it appears there could be as many as 1,000 natural gas leaks in Springfield, MA, that are a safety risk -- how many more strip clubs will have to be leveled before officials take action?
Cue up FEMA.