Gas-related explosions and fire


The Living Force
Emergency response crews are responding to gas-related explosions in three separate communities in Massachusetts' Merrimack Valley region, local media reported Thursday. Three people have been reported as being injured in Andover.

14.09.2018 - Explosions, Fires Burst Across Massachusetts Community - Gas Problem Suspected
Explosions, Fires Burst Across Massachusetts Community - Gas Problem Suspected

State Police have confirmed 70 fires, gas, or investigations of gas odors in Lawrence and in North Andover. However, numbers are expected to grow. At least one home has been reported as being completely destroyed.

According to local newspaper the Eagle-Tribune, the fires are the result of a problem with the gas line that homes and businesses in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence are connected to.

Massachusetts State Police have told residents in all the affected communities who are served by Columbia Gas to evacuate, as the company is depressurizing its gas lines in response to the incidents.

[URL='']Mass State Police @MassStatePolice
Residents in the affected towns of Lawrence/North Andover/Andover who have gas service from Columbia Gas should evacuate their homes immediately if they have not already done so. Gas lines are currently being depressurized by the company it will take some time.
6:10 PM - Sep 13, 2018

Residents are being urged to shut off their gas lines and evacuate their homes. Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque told the Tribune that "he's never seen anything like this."

Both Andover and North Andover are currently being evacuated by officials. According to the 2010 census, Andover and North Andover had a population of 33,201 and 28,352, respectively.

A Lawrence police officer was quoted as saying that "homes are exploding like crazy." Massachusetts State Police confirmed via Twitter that it was responding to 17 different homes for fires, explosions or investigations and pic.twitter

September 13, 2018 - Multiple Explosions And Fires Reported Across 3 Mass. Towns, At Least 3 Injured
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Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

Massachusetts State Police have confirmed officials are responding to 70 house fires, explosions or reports of gas odors — possibly caused by gas leaks — around the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on Thursday evening, warning that the "number will grow."

Officials urged all residents in the area who are Columbia Gas customers to evacuate, "as should anyone else who smells gas."

WCVB-TV Boston‏Verified account @WCVB 2h2 hours ago

NEW @MassStatePolice map shows locations of 39 confirmed fires across Merrimack Valley. Local officials say as many as 60-100 active fires across area. #Lawrence #NorthAndover #Andover #MAFires

At least three people have been injured in Andover, including one firefighter and two civilians, town officials said in a statement.

Andover Town Manager Andrew P. Flanagan, Police Chief Patrick E. Keefe and Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said Andover fire responders had put out a total of 35 fires. "At peak, 18 fires were burning at the same time," they said, adding that all fires have been extinguished and fire crews will remain in the town throughout the evening.

Columbia Gas has been shutting off all power to residents in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover, MPS officials said in a tweet.

MSP said it was too early to know the cause of the explosions and fires.

The Associated Press reported:

"Columbia Gas company had announced earlier Thursday that it would be upgrading gas lines in neighborhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions happened. It was not clear whether work was happening there Thursday, and a spokeswoman did not immediately comment."

State Police troopers and local police are helping evacuate residents. Off-ramps into the towns have been closed while on-ramps remain open to allow residents to get out of the affected areas.

Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon told USA Today there are so many fires, "you can't even see the sky."

The state police said gas lines are currently being depressurized by the company but warned that may take some time.

Sep 13, 2018 - 39 locations of fires, explosions after suspected gas leak in Massachusetts
39 locations of fires, explosions after suspected gas leak in Massachusetts
Firefighters in Massachusetts are battling dozens of fires believed to have been caused by gas explosions.

The Massachusetts State Police Watch Center has responded to 39 different addresses spread across dozens of block in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover -- in Massachusetts' Merrimack Valley, the department wrote on Twitter.

The town of Andover has put out 35 fires, Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said in a statement. While all of the fires there have been put out, firefighters will still remain there overnight, Mansfield said.
At least six people were treated at the Lawrence General Hospital for fire-related injuries, the hospital announced on Facebook. Two patients are in critical condition, and the hospital is preparing for more casualties, it said.

It is unclear if those victims include three people who were injured in Andover, including one firefighter and two civilians.

Evacuations are taking place in multiple neighborhoods where residents have smelled gas, according to state police.

Authorities also warned residents in the area who are served by Columbia Gas to "evacuate their homes immediately," as gas lines are currently being depressurized by the company.
BOSTON — Sep 18, 2018 - Pipe pressure before gas explosions was 12 times too high (Video - ABC)
Pipe pressure before gas explosions was 12 times too high

The pressure in natural gas pipelines prior to a series of explosions and fires in Massachusetts last week was 12 times higher than it should have been, according to a letter from the state's U.S. senators to executives of the utility in charge of the pipelines.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey sent the letter Monday seeking answers about the explosions from the heads of Columbia Gas, the company that serves the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, and NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas.

"The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has reported that the pressure in the Columbia Gas system should have been around 0.5 pounds per square inch (PSI), but readings in the area reached at least 6 PSI — twelve times higher than the system was intended to hold," the letter said.

The pressure spike registered in a Columbia Gas control room in Ohio, the senators said in the letter, which requests a reply by Wednesday.

"We write to request that you provide us with information in order to help the American people understand why this terrible disaster occurred, whether the company was sufficiently prepared to respond to an incident of this magnitude, and how we can prevent any similar tragedy in the future," the senators wrote.

Dozens of explosions and fires last Thursday killed one person and injured more than two dozen others. About 8,600 customers were affected, and many had to evacuate their homes for days and may have to go without gas service for weeks.

Columbia Gas President Stephen Bryant on Tuesday announced the utility is donating $10 million to an emergency relief fund for people affected by the emergency.

The Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund will help residents of the three communities with food, housing and other short-term needs as they recover, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, who has been highly critical of Columbia Gas, said the utility is "living up to their corporate responsibility" with the donation.

The explosions are under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt has said the investigation is partially focused on pressure sensors that were connected to a gas line that was being taken out of service shortly before the blasts.
May not be gas related, no info.

3 Trapped Firefighters Rescued From Massive Condo Fire
Published 3 hours ago | Updated 6 minutes ago
Three Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighters trapped in a burning condo while battling a massive fire Tuesday morning are being treated for minor injuries after being rescued by an intervention team, fire officials say.

The firefighters were among more than 100 called to battle a large 4-alarm fire at about 9:30 a.m. at the three-story Cambridge Park Condominiums, along the 11400 block of Audelia Road, in Lake Highlands.

DFR's Jason Evans said firefighters arrived at the building and immediately reported flames coming from a first-floor balcony. They attacked the fire with hand-held hoses, but said the flames had already spread to other parts of the building so a third and fourth alarms were called.

At some point during the fight, a mayday call was received from three firefighters trapped inside a burning residence after a floor collapsed. DFR's Rapid Intervention Team, which was in place at the fire, entered the burning building and rescued all three trapped firefighters. The three firefighters were then transported to local hospitals for treatment of unspecified injuries that are not life threatening.

One resident has also been hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

Flames, meanwhile, continued to consume the collapsing building. Video from Texas Sky Ranger showed thick, black smoke billowing from multiple units of the complex as charred walls crumbled and left behind only a partial shell of the original building.

Due to the intensity of the fire, firefighters moved into a defensive position and attempted to surround and drown on the flames using hand hoses and ladder pipes.

Officials have not been able to yet determine a cause for the fire or say how many residences have been destroyed. The American Red Cross is at the scene assisting residents left homeless by the fire.

........ must have put too much sugar ... in with the yeast, again ... an ... an ... :whistle: ... an keep a close eye :scooter:on that second batch?

December 16, 2018 - More than 40 hurt in explosion in Japan's Sapporo: Kyodo
More than 40 injured in explosion in Japan's Sapporo: Kyodo | Reuters

More than 40 people were injured in an explosion on Sunday at a bar in Sapporo in northern Japan, Kyodo news agency reported.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the blast, which the agency said had caused a number of buildings to collapse.

Police and firefighters worked to get the site in the city’s Toyohira ward under control, fighting flames and smoke, and warned people in the neighborhood of the possibility of another explosion, the agency reported.
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Woman killed in household gas blast in northwest Russia — rescuers
December 16, 4:19 UTC+3
According to a source in the city’s rescue service, the blast-hit apartment was destroyed
MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Six people injured and one killed in a household gas blast in the northwestern Russian city of Vologda, a spokesperson for the regional emergencies service department told TASS on Sunday.

"A household gas blast has taken place," the source said. "Seven people were reported to be injured, one woman died in an ambulance vehicle. About 30 residents were evacuated."

"No fire followed, but ceiling collapsed, and the building was damaged," he added.

According to a source in the city’s rescue service, the blast-hit apartment was destroyed, and another one was seriously damaged. Experts and equipment will arrive from St. Petersburg to assess whether the building can be repaired.
21 hurt in Florida shopping plaza blast
21 hurt in Florida shopping plaza blast

Dozens of firefighters responded to the blast that hit a vacant pizza restaurant at a South Florida shopping plaza. (AP)

Sunday July 07, 2019 - PLANTATION, Florida: A vacant pizza restaurant exploded Saturday in a thundering roar at a South Florida shopping plaza, injuring more than 20 people as large chunks of concrete flew through the air.

The blast flung debris widely along a busy road in Plantation, west of Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant was destroyed, and nearby businesses and cars were damaged. Though firefighters found ruptured gas lines afterward, authorities said it was too early to determine a cause.

The explosion hurled large pieces of concrete up to 50 yards (45 meters) away and sent pieces of metal scattering as far as 100 yards (90 meters) across the street. Carver said two of his co-workers’ cars were destroyed.

At least 21 people were injured though none of the injuries was life-threatening, Police Sgt. Jessica Ryan said.

The explosion demolished the building, leaving behind only part of its metal frame. The restaurant, called PizzaFire, had been out of business for several months. The blast also blew out the windows of a popular fitness club next door at the shopping plaza in Broward County.

Dozens of firefighters responded and could be seen picking through the rubble with dogs sniffing through the debris to make sure people weren’t trapped underneath. There were no known fatalities immediately after the explosion.
Video :zzz:
No one was injured at the scene of a gas leak and possible explosion in San Jose Sunday afternoon, according to the city's fire department.
The incident occurred in the area of Townsend Park Circle and Araujo Street in North San Jose, fire officials said.

The fire department reported that there was some damage to a water heater. Electricity and gas service were shut off.
Some people were evacuated from their homes, but they were later allowed to return.


Can't be sure of the cause of this but for now i'm thinking it could be gas related...?

Then again, it could be related to the Shooting in Halle, Germany - Two people got killed, culprit on the run - in the same way there were multiple explosions in Russia recently: Another massive explosion at an arms depot in Russia.

I guess we'll see because it's a breaking story so details are scarce at the moment. I'm going with the former until we have more info.
[Suddenly! #湖北仙桃一化工廠閃爆 ] At around 17:30 on August 3, a flash explosion occurred in the butanone oxime workshop of Lanhua Organosilicon Co., Ltd., Xiliuhe Town, Xiantao City, Hubei Province. #仙桃一化工廠閃爆致5傷4失聯 . As of 19:00, the fire had been extinguished, the injured had been sent to the hospital for treatment, and the missing persons were in search and rescue. No secondary disaster occurred at the scene and the cause of the accident is under investigation.

Jul 30, 2020 - 22:00

Updated on July 30, 2020 at 9:01 am
A natural gas pipeline erupted in flames near Houston after it was accidentally cut Wednesday afternoon by a contractor, officials said.

The accident happened about 4:45 p.m. in the town of Mont Belvieu, about 30 miles east of Houston
No injuries or secondary damage was reported in the rupture and fire on the line owned by Lone Star NGL, company officials said.

The fire and efforts to bring it under control closed Texas 146, however, a Mont Belvieu spokesman said. Firefighters have the leak contained and are monitoring while flames burn themselves out, spokesman Brian Ligon said.

Utility Arizona Public Service has completed its exhaustive study of the most high-profile U.S. grid battery fire.

The company filed its report Monday with the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates the utility. The report, produced in collaboration with DNV GL, lays out new safety requirements to prevent dangerous failures at current and future battery installations.

APS planned to massively increase its battery fleet to store solar power for use in the evenings, but it put the build-out on hold after the setback last spring. A lithium-ion battery container near Phoenix caught fire in April 2019, and after first responders opened the door to the enclosure, it exploded, sending several of them to the hospital.

The fire ignited in just one of the 27 racks of batteries in the McMicken facility and did not spread, as GTM has previously reported. That suggests the layout of the racks effectively isolated them from one another. But the aerosol fire suppressant was powerless to stop a buildup of explosive gas, which combusted when the first responders opened the door and let oxygen into the container.

The explosion revealed that lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous, even in the hands of experienced professionals like APS, storage vendor Fluence and battery manufacturer LG Chem. The new report offers an opportunity to identify what went wrong and ensure that future constructions eliminate the failure pathways, said Scott Bordenkircher, director of technology integration and innovation at APS.
“Conversations and learnings around an event like this are [critical] because that’s how you get the information out that needs to be considered in the next generation,” he said in a Monday interview.

Immediate changes

The findings include two major categories of recommendations: physical changes to battery system design to eliminate the gaseous buildup scenario and changes to how utilities train first responders to deal with emergencies at battery plants.

The report breaks down the event into five crucial steps:
  1. It appears that a single lithium-ion cell developed dendrites, or accretions of material that grew from one electrode to the other, which caused a short circuit. This caused the cell to heat up and catch fire.
  2. As that fire spread to neighboring cells, the aerosol fire suppressant proved incapable of stopping such a powerful conflagration.
  3. The placement of pouch batteries in close proximity within modules meant that the fire spread quickly from cell to cell. There was no physical barrier to prevent that spread, although the layout of the facility prevented spread beyond the vertical rack that caught fire.
  4. As hundreds of cells burned up, they released explosive gas, which built up in the container without a means of escape. The container lacked sensors to measure this gaseous accumulation.
  5. The lack of sensors or remote viewing limited operational awareness for the first responders, who also had limited training on this type of scenario.
Dendrites are a well-known failure mode for batteries, but it was unexpected that they would appear on a battery that had only operated for about two years.

“Over a long period of time it may be kind of expected, but nowhere near the severity we saw in this short period of time at this system,” Bordenkircher said.

As this event makes clear, even top tier integrators buying batteries from top tier suppliers can end up with flawed cells.
“Our focus is on when it fails, how...[to] mitigate it,” Bordenkircher said.

To do so, APS will require remote sensing and ventilation, so that if a malfunction ever leads to the release of dangerous gases, the operators can identify them and flush them from an enclosure without exposing any people to risk. This has not been standard practice in the storage industry, although New York City authorities required it for systems installed there.

Other upgrades include cooling systems or barriers between cells to prevent fires from spreading, plus the inclusion of more intensive fire suppression in case a gaseous clean agent fails to stop a fire.

These steps add materials and labor to a battery project, so they will likely increase costs. But there’s no way around that, Bordenkircher said.
“You’re not going to sell it, regardless of cost, unless it’s safe,” he noted. “The communities and the regulators are going to mandate it, and it’s the right thing to do.”

On the training side, APS will conduct broader regional education around fire response at its battery sites. It had trained local responders in the city where a battery was located, but the hazardous materials team that arrived at McMicken drew on personnel from the surrounding area. Battery response training needs to cover anyone who could arrive at a battery fire, and the trainings should be followed up with regular refresher briefings, Bordenkircher said.

But the earlier emergency response plans did not contemplate an explosive scenario, which left the responders unprepared for what happened when they decided to open the door.

Actions to restart battery construction

APS shut down its other battery facilities from Fluence — one at Festival Ranch, which is a twin of the McMicken system, and a larger one at the desert community of Punkin Center. Before those reopen, they will need to be retrofitted with ventilation systems.

Going forward, new battery plants will have to meet these requirements as well. When the McMicken incident happened, APS was about to finalize the first contracts in a planned 850-megawatt battery build-out to pair the utility’s large-scale solar fleet with batteries.

Those plans have been on hold since then, but APS has maintained that it remains committed to battery technology. The utility is already working with the contract winners to see if they can update their projects to meet the new safety standards emerging from the investigation. Those standards will be baked into new requests for proposals going forward.

APS only has the power to enforce these standards in its own territory, but Bordenkircher implored people elsewhere to consider how the McMicken failure scenario would play out in their own battery plants.

“There are many other containerized batteries installed across the world,” he said. “I would hope that everyone will take a look at the system they own and operate and do a risk assessment based on these findings.”

The report is accessible on APS’ website, and the company has planned outreach to several industry groups in the next few days.

In January, the company committed to eliminating carbon emissions from power production. The ability to store power in batteries will play a crucial role in delivering evening peak power as decarbonization proceeds.

“You can’t get there with intermittent resources that only generate during daylight,” Bordenkircher said. “We know [storage] is the answer to how you get to a clean energy commitment like that.”

In other words, the rollout of the battery fleet has been delayed by the fire and its aftermath, but the endpoint has not changed.
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