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Fires and explosions make headlines around the United States daily. Set up a Google alert for the term “gas explosion” or “apartment fire,” and you will receive numerous updates.
Here is a sampling of news items about gas explosions since just the end of July:
Rural Wahpeton gas explosion kills 1
From Wahpeton Daily News, August 6: A rural Wahpeton gas explosion on August 4 resulted in one death. There were two survivors, Emergency Manager Brett Lambrecht confirmed that afternoon.
On August 6, the names of the survivors and victim of the rural Wahpeton gas explosion were released:
- Mavis Onchuck, 84, Wahpeton, was killed in the explosion.
- Cole Defries, 22, and Danielle Faller, 25, both Wahpeton, were injured in the explosion. Both were treated and released at a local hospital.
The rural Wahpeton gas explosion caused a farmstead house to be leveled. At approximately 9:40 a.m., Richland County Communications received the call. Multiple fire departments responded at the farmstead, located along the Wild Rice River at 17650 81st St. SE, west of 177th Avenue in rural Wahpeton.
Fire departments from Wahpeton, Breckenridge, Fairmount, Dwight, Great Bend and Mooreton, along with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, responded and were on the scene. An excavator also responded.
The deceased was in the house with Defries and Faller, her two caretakers, Lambrecht said.
Worker dies in west Texas pipeline blaze
From Reuters, August 2: Authorities are investigating what caused a fire and a series of natural gas pipeline explosions in Midland County, Texas. One worker died, and six others were hospitalized.
Workers and firefighters were responding to a leak when the blast occurred, Midland County Fire Marshal Dale Little said.
Five workers with critical injuries were airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, and were being treated at the center’s burn unit, medical center spokesman Eric Finley said. One worker later died at the hospital.
Two firefighters also were taken to hospital for treatment of burn injuries, said Elana Ladd, public information officer for the city of Midland.
Ladd said the pipeline explosions occurred just outside the city of Midland on a rural road, FM 1379, about 5 miles south of Highway 158.
Minneapolis school ready to rebuild a year after explosion
From MPR News, August 2: Hundreds of students, staff, families and alumni gathered at Minnehaha Academy for a ceremony marking the rebuilding of the school damaged by an explosion exactly one year ago.
Construction workers unveiled the first concrete column of what will be a common area in the part of the high school campus being rebuilt after the natural gas blast.
The ceremony included a memorial for the two staff members killed in the blast.
“There has been much beauty in the ashes, and so we see that every day,” school president Donna Harris said. “And so, we have a bright future for our kids ahead. We have reimagined our school. Our community has come together in ways that we could never have anticipated. So, we are hopeful and thankful and joyful as well.”
The school has been holding classes in Mendota Heights. It hopes to move back to its Minneapolis location in the fall of 2019.
Gas explosion injures 2 in suburban San Diego
From Times of San Diego, August 1: An explosion, possibly from a gas stove, rocked an apartment in El Cajon, injuring two people.
The blast was reported about 7:55 p.m. at the Lincoln Palms Apartments at 165 Lincoln Ave., according to Capt. Sonny Saghera of Heartland Fire & Rescue.
One victim, a 61-year-old woman, suffered second-degree burns on 30 percent of her body. A 74-year-old man suffered first- and second-degree burns on 25 percent to 30 percent of his body, Saghera said. Both victims were taken the UC San Diego burn center.
Sheriff’s bomb and arson investigators are investigating the cause of the blast.