Coraopolis, PA – A gas company will pay a $50,000 civil penalty for a natural gas explosion that destroyed a home last year, seriously burning a teenager who lived there.
Marc Rateau, then 18, suffered second-degree burns over 40 percent of his body when his house in Moon exploded last March shortly after he returned home from school. His sister, Chelsea, 14, suffered less serious injuries.
Columbia Gas did not acknowledge any fault in the settlement with the state Public Utility Commission, which had accused the gas company of not evacuating the area soon enough after a contractor hit a two-inch gas line.
Under the settlement, Columbia Gas may spend part of the fine to develop a gas-awareness and safety program for children.
A lawsuit the Rateau family filed against Columbia Gas is scheduled to go to trial this month.