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Investigators Rule Out Gas Main Leak In Indy Explosion

Indianapolis Homeland Security is now looking for signs of natural gas for the cause of the explosion.

indianapolis skyline

Photo: bnpositive (Flickr)

The explosion caused around $3.6 million in damages.

Indianapolis Homeland Security officials say they now believe natural gas may be to blame for that house explosion that killed two people and injured several others in Indianapolis, but the leak does not appear to have originated in the gas lines. Rather, investigators are looking into the possibility that a particular gas appliance in the home could have caused the blast.

Indianapolis Homeland Security head Gary Coons says his team is currently in the process of recovering the appliances from destroyed homes to help determine the cause.

The National Transportation Safety Board have also pulled investigators from the explosion scene. Citizens Energy Spokesperson Sarah Holsapple confirms that Citizens Energy Group has found no leaks in the gas main or individual gas lines that feed homes in the area where the blast occurred.

“We did leak detection surveys in the entire Richmond Hill subdivision, we also pressure tested the two inch diameter gas main and all underground service lines on Fieldfair so all of the lines that connected the homes on Fieldfair to the gas main and we did a test of the gas meter at the home where the explosion is believed to have happened,” Holsapple says.

She says the finding should come as comfort to residents that gas lines in the area are safe.

The explosion caused about $3.6 million in damage to homes.

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  • mre2

    Anyone consider sewer gas as the fuel/explosive? That neighborhood has municipal sewers. At least the house at 8355 Fairfield Way had a full basement. Typically such a basement would have a floor drain with a trap. If the trap dries out then the drain can become an open source of sewer gas into the basement. While the composition of sewer gas is extremely variable, typically one of the principle components is methane, the same principle component of NG. Another component in sewer gas is hydrogen sulfide, which to the inexperienced smells a lot like the mercaptan odorants used in municipal NG. Over the years there have been many sewer gas explosions, some involving buildings and residential homes as well. Ignition in a home can be as simple as turning on a light switch. Consider the case of the home of Ralph Yotter in Minnesota in June of this year. Another feature of a potential basement fill from a municipal sewer is that adjacent homes can experience the same problem, and one can then ignite the other leading to a double explosion and greater fire spread.

    Yotter explosion: http://www.austindailyherald.Com/2012/06/13/house-explosion-was-like-tnt/

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