CSB Team Examining Fatal Gas Explosion in Colorado

The explosion was caused by a nearby leaking gas well.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has dispatched an investigative team to examine the site of an April 27 home explosion caused by a leaking gas well in Firestone, Colo. Two people died and another was seriously injured due to the explosion.

Information available now says the well was no longer in service, but an uncapped flow line came within several feet of the house. The agency is examining this information.

After the explosion, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ordered oil and gas companies operating in the state to inspect and pressure-test oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings. His May 2 order requires oil and gas operators to:

  • Inspect and pressure-test existing oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings to ensure their integrity
  • Ensure any lines that are not in use are properly marked and capped
  • Ensure all abandoned lines are cut below the surface and sealed

Hickenlooper said the inspections of existing flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings must occur within 30 days and testing for integrity within 60 days. Lines that have been either abandoned or are not in use must be inspected within 30 days and abandoned under current rules within 60 days.

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