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  • Oak Tree Group

Importance of Emergency Response in Gas Emergencies

The incident happened on May 28th, 2024. The preliminary investigation suggests that the workers were in the building to clear out old utility infrastructure from the basement and vault area, including old piping, as part of a city project to fill the vault area and replace the sidewalks above, according to NTSB board member Tom Chapman.

The workers made two initial cuts into piping along the basement wall, he said. After making a third cut, "The crew immediately realized that there was a problem and the gas had been released," Chapman said during a press briefing on Friday.

The workers quickly evacuated the basement and notified bank employees of the gas leak, Chapman said. They pulled the fire alarm and at least one worker called 911, he said. The workers were also "instrumental" in helping evacuate residents in the apartments, he said.

The explosion occurred approximately six minutes after the cut, Chapman said.

One person died and 7 were injured.

Because of the prompt response of the workers to evacuate people from the building many lives were saved. The crew also promptly called 911 to alert first responders of the incident. This gas explosion shows the importance for personnel who work around gas facilities to know how to properly respond to gas emergencies, and how to take actions to protect people first, followed by property.

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