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Officials: Human Error Caused Worthington St. Explosion

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – State officials say that “human error”, not a gas main leak on the street, was the cause of the explosion on Worthington Street Friday evening.

Massachusetts Fire Marshall Stephen Coan along with Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and other State officials announced Sunday afternoon that a punctured pipe is to blame for the explosion Friday evening, and Columbia Gas is taking full responsibility.

“Human error…is what the cause of the explosion was,” Coan said.

Friday, on a service call for an odor of gas inside the building at 453 Worthington Street, a Columbia Gas employee was using a metal probe to make holes in order to measure gas. According to the investigative team, it appears that the employee followed protocal in regards to appropriate distance for measurement. However, the markings on the sidewalk were incorrect and his metal probe punctured a high-pressure gas line in front of the building.

The building was evacuated immediately. Due to the punctured pipe gas built up inside the building, and the investigative team believes there were too many possible ignition sources inside the buidling to pinpoint just one.

The Department of Public Utilities began a formal investigation of Columbia Gas on Friday. The investigation is ongoing.

The explosion on Friday at 5:25pm at Score’s Gentlemen’s Club on Worthington Street damaged 42 buildings and injured 20 people. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

Damage is estimated in the millions at this time.

ABC40 will continue to bring you the latest details as they become available, both on-air and online.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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