NTSB, Citizens Energy finds no evidence of gas-line leak in south side explosion

Aftermath of southeast side home explosion

Aftermath of southeast side home explosion (November 13, 2012)

Indianapolis

The National Transportation Safety Board is no longer on the scene of a south side explosion after investigators determined Tuesday there was no evidence of a gas-line leak.

NTSB spokesperson Keith Holloway told Fox59 News that pipeline investigators found no leaks that would warrant an investigation by the federal agency.  Holloway said NTSB investigators would remain on the scene of a large explosion if leaks were found in the lines or valves leading up to the epicenter of the blast.

The NTSB typically investigates transportation accidents, involving highway, ship and railroad crashes.  However, the agency also probes pipeline accidents, because pipelines are considered a mode of transportation.

Later Tuesday, Citizens Energy Group announced their tests also indicated there was no evidence of natural gas leaks for their underground facilities in the Richmond Hill division.  With the cooperation of the NTSB and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Citizens Energy officials conducted a leak detection survey of the entire subdivision, pressure tests of the 2-inch diameter gas main and all underground service lines on Fieldfare Way and a functional test of the gas meter at the home where the explosion is believed to have originated.

The exact cause of the explosion is still being investigated.  Officials from the Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security, Code Enforcement and Citizens Energy refused to speculate about the cause of the explosion. They also couldn’t confirm reports that the home in question had a high amount of gas consumption or a faulty furnace, as the homeowner reported.

Indianapolis Fire Department Public Information Officer Capt. Rita Burris said the department is awaiting test results from utility sources and the fire investigations section.

Approximately 200 residents were evacuated from their houses following the blast. During a briefing Monday, investigators stated 29 of the 80 affected homes remain uninhabitable.


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