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Chandler Explosion Causes Investigations Points Human Error

A natural gas leak that had resulted in an explosion at a Chandler printing facility has been investigated for the cause of the explosion. The incident that left four people injured on August 20 was caused by a human error coupled with a prematurely degraded pipe. The accidental cause was clarified in the preliminary findings that were released on Wednesday.

The explosion was investigated by several agencies, which included the police and fire departments in Chandler. Investors from ATF’s National Response Team, along with the crews from Southwest Gas also were a part of the investigation. Altogether, the investigators found no evidence suggesting the explosion at the Platinum Ring was caused due to some foul play.

The cause of the explosion was understood to be entirely accidental, with no criminal evidence suggesting otherwise.The type of natural gas pipe that was observed to be the origin of the leak was a Driscopipe 8000 composed of high-density polyethylene pipe. The pipe used was misidentified by the personnel of the gas utility, stated Southwest Gas spokesperson Sean Corbett. Failure to identify the natural gas pipe spared it from remediation efforts that would have replaced any sections of the pipe that posed a risk. Therefore, Southwest gas is focusing on investigating how that error occurred.

Back in 2012, the PHMSA agency had deployed an advisory with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The issued guide spoke of the Driscopipe 8000 pipe along with the potential material-related degradation hazard.

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