Huge explosion in Indianapolis destroys 2 homes, damages dozens more

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I saw damage just like this in Fond du Lac WI during the late 70s.
A car hit the gas meter on a house. The driver thought there was no damage and left the scene.
Later that night the house exploded taking the house on each side with it.
Nobody was home at any of the houses by sheer luck. The explosion was heard 17 miles away, IIRC.
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Here's what I don't get:
"Officials found two homes totally destroyed with further damage to dozens more."
Then...
"A local gas utility said an initial inspection found no gas leaks in the area."
What did they do...take a walk around the destruction and state "Nope, no leaks here."?
Basically I don't see how that statement has any meaning. If there's nothing left to a house (or two) what would you check when looking for a "leak"?
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I'm with you, makes you wonder. Homes left as debris, and all at the same moment. What else, except gas, could do that? Regulator failure, and pressure surge, maybe? Anyone geiger counting for tac nuke remains?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

"A local gas utility said an initial inspection found no gas leaks in the area."
What did they do...take a walk around the destruction and state "Nope, no leaks here."?
Basically I don't see how that statement has any meaning. If there's nothing left to a house (or two) what would you check when looking for a "leak"?
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On 11/13/2012 3:05 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

Use a sniffer---the piping has to still be there. Of course, if it's a small leak and buried under the rubble there may not be enough concentration to have found it (yet).
I'm sure if folks will just calm down and let the forensics folks do their thing they'll find the root cause...
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That wasn't what I meant. I read that statement to mean that the local utility does not think that a gas leak caused the explosion.
"Yes, the houses blew up but we didn't find a gas leak afterwards, so as of now, we don't think that that was the cause."
When read that way, you can see why it doesn't make any sense. Once the houses blew up and the pipes were busted everywhere, I'd be very surprised if they found a leak since I assume they would shut the gas off at the nearest (farthest?) point which would prevent any gas from coming out of the busted pipes.
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On 11/13/2012 3:51 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

...
Well, I think you're reading far more into it that is there. What are they supposed to say before they have had time to do anything but the most cursory of inspection? That's what's generally wrong w/ reporting--they expect answers immediately on things that are simply not doable immediately.
I think one can safely ignore essentially any press reporting on cause(s) at this point as they simply don't know for sure yet.
Again, let the forensics people do their thing in their own time--it may take some significant time if it isn't completely obvious at the git-go which apparently it isn't.
That there was apparently a furnace malfunction makes one suspicious at a minimum, however that it is pretty likely a culprit. Who know, maybe there was a pile of old unused fertilizer in the basement next to the furnace...
--
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That was exactly my point. The statement made no sense...I found it hard to believe that they actually published it.
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On 11/13/2012 11:09 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

The conclusion you put into their mouths above wasn't anything at all like what the actual quote was. They didn't say anything about any conclusion as to what caused it; only that there were no apparent leaks at that time.
The quote you posted again--"A local gas utility said an initial inspection found no gas leaks in the area."
It said they found no leaks in an initial inspection. That's fine and was undoubtedly so. Drawing any other conclusions beyond what it says is where the problem lies.
At the point when asked and after an "initial" inspection they didn't have a leak to point a finger at. Doesn't say there wasn't something prior; doesn't say anything at all about probable cause. Period.
It's making assumptions beyond that that doesn't make any sense.
--
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Once again, I ask:
What was the point of even making/publishing that statement?
It's akin to the fireman stating - after all of the fires were put out - "After an initial inspection, nothing was burning" or the electric utility stating "After an initial inspection, there was no sparking".
It was a pointless statement and served no purpose except to cause others to make assumptions about why it was said.
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On 11/14/2012 3:47 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

...
Well, it was a logical question to ask and it was the response.
It still seems perfectly clear to me on both fronts.
One clearly would wonder if there were evidence of a leak--so the company rep was asked. At the time, the answer was "no".
If the account isn't published at all you're left wondering when reading the news account "well, why didn't they ask about gas leaks"? The answer is they did--that there's just nothing particular to report at the moment is also worth reporting.
One can only a) report what is know at the time it is known and then b) take the content of a statement at what it says and no more.
That it reports no knowledge at a point in time is still some knowledge of what is and isn't known.
--
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On Wed, 14 Nov 2012 13:47:10 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

You misread the meaning. Though I haven't paid attention to this incident, when I hear a utility say something like this, my assumption is it only applies to their mains and service feeds. IOW, they were able to shut off the entry feeds, tested for leaks in main and service feeds, and found none. Sort of saying, "Relax. The sewers aren't about to explode, and the local area isn't about to become a raging inferno." That's my read, anyway.
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On 11/14/2012 4:29 PM, Vic Smith wrote: ...

+1 Should've probably expounded on that point of reference earlier--they can't possibly have done forensic-type investigation on the house in question at the moment...
A situation such as that where can isolate any source as compared to one out this way where a large salt-cavern storage field leaked from some injection/retrieval well sites unknownst to operators (for apparently years). The escaping gas as well as some apparently just lost in the air migrated along the paths of various pipelines owing to less dense ground packing around the trenches and air gaps from settling and eventually there was a big boom in downtown Hutchinson, KS, as several others including in a mobile home park as well. No way to stop that supply until it burned out--they actually drilled and lit several release/flare wells to hasten the process...
--
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On 11-14-2012 16:47, DerbyDad03 wrote:

It prevented having two blank lines at the bottom of the column.
--
Wes Groleau

Nobody believes a theoretical analysis — except the guy who did it.
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news:ad13aa23-841b-4c5e-a172-
<stuff snipped>
<When read that way, you can see why it doesn't make any sense. Once the houses blew up and the pipes were busted everywhere, I'd be very surprised if they found a leak since I assume they would shut the gas off at the nearest (farthest?) point which would prevent any gas from coming out of the busted pipes.>
Excellent point. With the gas turned off to the entire area, finding an existing leak would be pretty damn hard. These incidents are bad for the gas company because for the next year or so, anyone near that area getting the slightest whiff of the embedded odor will ride them mercilessly. Speaking of embedding, you've heard the joke about Broadwell being an embedded journalist (by Petraeus)?
(-:
-- Bobby G.
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Not really. At that point the gas company was looking for leaks in the mains and laterals.. where they are responsible. The explosion likely wouldn't have damaged them.
--
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to work within the system, but too early to shoot
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wrote in message

the
getting
Are you saying that they didn't shut down the gas lines feeding into the area surrounding the blast? That's pretty standard stuff and without gas flowing through the gas pipes in the neighborhood I don't see how they could have said there were no gas leaks. You can only locate leaks when the whole system is pressurized. I think Derby's right when he implies that the statement was way too early in the investigation to be credible.
-- Bobby G.
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Not at all. They could (and will be able to) pressurize the lines in the area using plain old air or air mixed with the smelly agent or air mixed with a smoke agent and tell if there are leaks. They don't have to pressurize it with gas to check for leaks. YOu can tell just from the pressure responses. They might have had a couple of meters that they needed to cap off to keep the pressure up, but it isn't really rocket science to figure out if a main or the laterals were leaking.
--
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wrote:

gas
could
whole
Then I would have expected them to say "we found no leaks in the mains" which is a different animal than saying "we found no leaks." In any event, it seems premature to exclude the possibility of a leak but completely within modern legal thinking to disclaim responsibility early and often. (-"
-- Bobby G.
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They said exactly that in the local paper. That explains the difference.
--
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On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 4:35:42 PM UTC-5, dpb wrote:

Um, if you blow the f*ck out of a house, it would stand to reason that some gas supply lines got ripped loose in the blast. Whether the house blew up from a gas leak or a pile of TNT, there *WILL* be a gas leak now.

Maybe. There have been a lot of "mysterious" house explosions across the country lately. Nobody seems to know exactly why they happened. Gas leak is just a guess.
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