Jacobus, PA – Gas investigations continue


Daily Record staff

Investigators continue to unravel the cause of a Columbia Gas outage on one of winter’s coldest days in the Red Lion area and an unrelated explosion 19 days earlier that leveled a family’s home in Jacobus.

A Columbia Gas crew quickly located and replaced a section of damaged pipeline under the street in front of the Krichtens’ home. It appeared to have been hit by machinery and had sprung a leak. Natural gas migrated along the pipeline into the foundation of the Krichtens’ home.

The gas company sent the damaged section to an analytical laboratory for tests to identify the probable cause of the damage and whether it was general pipe failure, said Rob Boulware, a Columbia Gas spokesman. He had no estimate for how long results would take.

Paul Metro, supervisor of gas safety for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, said his agency’s investigators also are awaiting results from the test lab. He said he did not know if the gas company will have to check the Jacobus gas line for other possible damage.

He also said the age of the pipes was not a factor. “Our role is to find out who was responsible and what happened and what changes we need to make to solve the problem,” Metro said.