State Fines Utility, Subcontractors In Deadly Gas Explosion

Oct 17, 2019

File photo of a block of North Duke Street that remained closed more than two weeks after a gas leak sparked an explosion that killed two and damaged 15 buildings.
Credit Elizabeth Friend / WUNC

The North Carolina Department of Labor has issued more than $21,000 in fines to three companies involved in a deadly natural gas explosion.

News outlets report PSNC Energy and two subcontractors were cited for the April 10 explosion in Durham that killed two people, injured 25 and destroyed buildings.

Optic Cable Technology was fined $14,000 for two safety violations. The department says Optic didn't locate underground pipes before drilling and didn't immediately call authorities after the gas line ruptured.
PS Splicing LLC was fined $2,100 for not performing regular inspections of the site.

PSNC, part of Dominion Energy, was fined $5,000 for "ineffective response procedures." The department says the responding employee wasn't wearing protective gear and parked his vehicle near the leak.

The utility says they disagree with the findings.