'It looked like Armageddon': Homes burn in Massachusetts

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by maflynn, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Major event here in Massachusetts where a gas company (Colombia gas) sent a surge of high pressure natural gas through the normally low pressure gas mains that run to people's houses.


    As of last night 70 houses were on fire, exploded or had gas leaking. This morning its being reported that 8,000 houses will need to be inspected before the residents are let back in. So sad.

    Last night the electric company basically created a black out, to lesson the risk of the gas exploding, so three towns had no electricity.
  2. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    It’s been all over tv and social media here on the Northshore. Someone commented on this somewhere speculating that what if some computer was hacked by a foreign power and had it’s alarms disabled, or excessive pressure generated somewhere. I am surprised that there isn’t a special saftey blow off valve somewhere that would pop under pressure and blow like a whistle (all mechanical) to relieve pressure and alert of a serious problem.

    Do houses have any “surge” protection for over pressuring gas lines or a regulator that could bleed off excess if needed. Or is that how the leaks happened in the first place?
  3. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    What a scary prospect for everyone not knowing what would happen next, and what a traumatizing experience for people who were in homes that did blow up. I have never heard of such a huge range of faults in a gas line before in the USA (or anywhere else for that matter). Either those lines were really old and past due for proper inspection, or else that was one heck of a pressure surge. How could that even happen I wonder.
  4. oldhifi macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2013
    Seems like they would have a regulator device in the lines to prevent his?
  5. jeremysteele macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2011
    The gas lines in the northeast US are old. Very, very old. Wood lines were still in place in a few areas until the past couple decades.

    Columbia gas (who owns the exploding lines) is pretty notorious for not keeping their infrastructure up to date. Having proper release valves would have prevented this entire ordeal.

    To put it in perspective, National grid (one of the biggest energy providers in the northeast) has been on top of replacing aging lines and adding in additional release valves. For instance, when they recently expanded the gas main on my road they added a valve at the end of the road prior to their expansion.
  6. Dubdrifter macrumors regular


    Jan 30, 2015
    That’s what happens when you have Energy Companies run by money grabbing amateurs and accountants jerked around by shareholders - none of whom are remotely interested in putting public health and safety first.

    Gas is quite a dangerous energy commodity to have in your home .....dangerous enough to need qualified technicians fit, regulate and maintain systems and issue a safety certificate of assurance to home owners/buyers

    Looks like the safety experts experienced in overseeing the maintainance of the whole network and it’s pressure regulation ...... have been seen as an unnecessary expense and a ‘spoiler’ to shareholder profits and those with their ‘heads in the trough’!

    The same problem riddles the Fracking Industry. ...... the genie is out the bottle ..... America’s ground water is now a ticking time bomb polluted with carcinogens.

    Time to kick these idiots out of control of Energy Companies, lock them up, and throw away the key. People’s lives and health depend on Government doing just that!

    Trouble is, when you allow Energy Companies fund politicians in their own interests, and politicians become nothing more than ‘prostitutes’ ..... representing ‘the People’ no longer happens and our safety goes completely out the window.

    Is it any wonder politicians have totally lost their integrity and the political scene is in turmoil!

    The Blame lies clearly with Big Business and the Puppeteers behind the scenes ..... and the way the run for political office is allowed to be funded.

    Until that is addressed ..... these problems will continue to happen ..... and regulation will never be up to scratch.

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