Live gas line rupture drill hopes to reduce gas leaks in Lubbock

Live gas line rupture drill hopes to reduce gas leaks in Lubbock

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

When working at a construction site no matter where contractors can not take any underground line strike lightly. Natural gas by far one of the most volatile and lethal fuels for dig crews, striking a gas line leaves only seconds to make the right decision that can save lives.

Lubbock Fire & Rescue, Atmos Energy, Centurion, EnLink Midstream, Goodnight Midstream, OneOK, Plains, Vermeer, Enertech, and Texas811 presented a free public safety event which showcased a hands-on scenario training, it highlights a mock gas pipeline rupture, and what steps to take immediately.

"It's about the safety of the construction operator, it's about the safety of the public around where he is doing the construction," said Marinda Heinrich, with Atmos Energy. "Ultimately it's about the safety of the Atmos Energy gas system."

Atmos Energy reports that there's a gas line rupture every 43 seconds somewhere in the United States. There has been 52 strikes in Lubbock this year alone.
Heinrich cites careless digging as the main cause.

"If you hit a natural gas pipeline it can be very, very dangerous," said Heinrich. "And very costly for the individual who hits it not only for his own health and well being, but the well being of everyone around him were he is digging."

Before doing any sort of digging, whether at a construction site or your home call 811. If you do hit a gas pipeline shut the operation down, get to a safe place, and call 911. Heinrich said an excavator only has one hour to report the damage to 811 or face greater fines from the Rail Road Commission. 

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