Massachusetts DPU: Markings Were 2 Feet From Strip Club Gas Pipe That Was Struck, Causing Springfield Explosion
(The Republican, AM Edition, November 26, 2012)
Columbia Gas Official: Worker Who Punctured Pipe That Led to Springfield Explosion Followed Company Procedures
(The Republican, PM Edition, November 26, 2012)
Comment: This event has its basis in a classic problem when it comes to GIS use in the underground utility community. It's hard as heck to justify spending the dollars needed to "digitize maps" of stuff hidden underground until a point of comparison is offered. Then, the choice is obvious. Pay a million dollars or so to convert old paper line drawings into accurate electrons and increase the odds an accident will be avoided, or do nothing and pay 100's of millions to settle law suits and damage claims on the backside of an event like this. Little doubt Pacific Gas and Electric understands that point based on what happened in a San Mateo County Court this past summer.
Besides Federal and State investigative efforts, there are trade groups giving strong consideration to the many facets of this issue. One of them is the Common Ground Alliance. They'll be holding their annual convention in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 12-14, 2013. Details here.
Lead photo credit: 13abc.com