PA- Dominion Peoples gas company plans to replace additional sections of a 2-inch steel gas line on Mardis Gras Drive in Plum, the site of a fatal natural gas explosion.
Plum officials gave the news to residents of the Holiday Park neighborhood during a borough council meeting Monday night.
“We are replacing the line not only in front of 171 Mardis Gras, but farther down to include additional parts of the street,” Dominion spokesman Elmore Lockley said in a phone interview.
Lockley said an engineering analysis will determine how much of the line will be replaced.
He said no deficiencies have been found in the remaining portions of the line. The steel line will be replaced with plastic.
Dominion has agreed to check every service line leading into the homes and replace lines that are found to have problems such as wear and stress. The company also pledged to provide methane detectors to the residents of Mardis Gras Drive.
The work will come at no cost to residents, Lockley said.
“Our first priority is safety for our customers and to reassure them that the lines are safe,” he said.
A natural gas explosion at 171 Mardis Gras Drive on Wednesday killed Richard J. Leith, 64, of Penn and injured his granddaughter, Gianna Pettinato, 4, whom he was watching.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what caused Dominion’s 2-inch steel main gas line to crack and why the home exploded. The steel pipe, which was installed in 1961, passed a May 2007 inspection.
Dominion has pledged to check the lines every four hours daily for the next month for leaks or malfunctions.
Ralph Graeser, an investigator with the state Public Utility Commission, said that checks thus far have found no problems.
About 30 residents of the Holiday Park neighborhood attended last night’s council meeting. Many said they were pleased to hear about Dominion’s plans to replace other portions of the line.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Marlene Rusch, who lives six doors from the home that exploded. Rusch said damage to her home included cracked plaster.
Rusch said she welcomes the methane detector because she hasn’t been able to find one in stores.
“It makes me fee more secure,” said Dave Heiser, 61, of Mardis Gras Drive. “It (Dominion’s plan) is what we expected.”