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Gas line struck during roadwork

A construction worker struck a natural gas line near Thomson on Sept. 1, but no one was injured.

The mishap occurred on the roadway directly adjacent Dudley Nurseries just after 4 p.m. Within minutes, City of Thomson Gas Director Chuck Cason and a crew arrived to cut the gas off and thwart any danger of an explosion.

A 1-inch gas line was ruptured when it was accidentally pulled out of the ground by a worker using a Caterpillar along an area of roadway being prepared for re-asphalting, Mr. Cason said at the scene.

"It could have been a lot more dangerous if he had been scrapping the road at the time," Mr. Cason pointed out. "We could have had an explosion."

He said he was glad it wasn't the 6-inch main line that runs along Washington Road nearby.

"We would sure enough have had a major emergency on our hands, if that had happened," Mr. Cason said. "I'm just glad it wasn't any worse than it turned out to be."

The gas line has been repaired.

Several firefighters with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services responded to the scene, including Assistant Chief Stephen Sewell and Capt. Ron May.

"This was just a case of miscommunications with Reeves Construction Company," Mr. Cason said.

"They made a change in the limits of the road construction and didn't communicate that back to us."

Reeves Construction had originally planned to repave 250 feet of the road, he explained.

"They added another 150 feet without telling us," Mr. Cason said.

Under state guidelines, the gas line accident had to be reported to officials with the Georgia Public Service Commission and GULPA.

Web posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010

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