After Fatal Explosion, 63 Gas Leaks Found at Medina Apartment Complex

Sixty-three gas leaks have been discovered at a Medina, OH apartment complex where an explosion on February 9 killed two people and injured a third. Jacob Harley Drake, an 18-year-old man who was confined to a wheelchair, died in a fire after the explosion. His parents suffered severe burns trying to save him and were both hospitalized. His mother, Sheila Drake, died from her injuries yesterday. Robert Drake, Jacob’s father, is in fair condition at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Inspectors discovered that some old gas lines at the apartment complex, located at 451 Springbrook Drive, had never been capped off. Crews have been working to replace the natural gas lines and most of the residents of thave moved back in. Officials are still investigating the source of the explosion.

Management at the apartment complex has declined to talk with local media while the investigation is ongoing. But Columbia Gas has released the following statement:

“Our thoughts remain with the community and families dealing with the loss and impact of the tragic incident at 451 Springbrook Drive in Medina that occurred on Feb. 9, 2017. We want to assure our customers and the community of the safe operation of our system.

The State Fire Marshal called upon Columbia Gas of Ohio today to conduct the inspections of the customer-owned, inside house lines at the apartment complex. Columbia Gas is partnering with the State Fire Marshal and utilizing our resources to conduct thorough inspections of all inside house lines to ensure the safety of our customers and the community.

Inside house lines are customer-owned lines meaning customers are responsible for the maintenance and repair of those lines. In the event Columbia Gas crews identify a safety issue with an inside house line, our crews will shut off the gas service and the customer or property owner will need to hire a qualified plumber to make the necessary repairs. Once house lines are repaired, Columbia Gas crews return to restore gas service and at that time, Columbia Gas crews will conduct a safety inspection to ensure the appliances and house lines are operating safely.

The day the incident occurred, Columbia Gas crews conducted a thorough investigation of our natural gas main and service lines that serve the area and confirmed that they are safe. While the cause of the incident remains under investigation, our natural gas main lines and service lines were not the source of this incident. We will continue to support the State Fire Marshal as they continue their investigation.”





Fatal Apartment Explosion
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Category: Explosion, Fire and Burn Injuries
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