Three people were injured in a June 18 explosion in the New Albany Village condominium complex in Westerville, OH. They suffered minor injuries and were able to walk out of the building. They were then taken to the hospital for treatment.
The complex where the blast occurred is located in the 5800 block of Edge of Village, off of Dublin Granville Road. Although the fire that followed the explosion was contained to a single condo, the six-unit building sustained structural damage and all residents were evacuated, Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin told local media.
The cause of the explosion is still unknown. Gas may have played a factor, but Martin said there were no leaks in the lines from Columbia Gas. Between 2007-2011, an estimated average of 160,910 fires per year involved flammable gases or liquids, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Each year, these fires casued an average of 3,910 injuries and 454 deaths.
The New Albany Village explosion blew out a door, window and a garage door. A person who was in the area at the time described hearing a loud boom at the time of the explosion.
Columbia Gas released the following statement:
“At this time, no determination has been made as to whether natural gas was involved. We have performed a thorough investigation of our lines from the street to the meter and confirmed our facilities are operating safely and normally. As a precaution, we are also inspecting all of our lines in the neighborhood. Our customers expect and deserve safe and reliable natural gas service.
Natural gas safety is a partnership between Columbia Gas of Ohio, our customers and communities. Here are some important safety reminders:
▪ If someone smells an odor of natural gas or thinks there may be a gas leak, they should leave the area immediately, move to a safe location and call Columbia Gas of Ohio at 800-344-4077, as well as 911.
▪ Don’t attempt to work on your home’s natural gas lines or appliances. Contact a professional.
▪ Always call 811 at least two business days before doing any digging. Utilities will mark their lines so you can dig safely. Calling 811 is easy, the service is free and it’s the law.”