Gas line explosion kills apprentice

Published 2:36 am Tuesday, December 19, 2006

By Staff
CASSOPOLIS – A gas line explosion Tuesday morning killed Danny Young, 27, an apprentice lineman with Midwest Energy Cooperative.
Young died from injuries he sustained after a trencher he was operating hit a high-pressure natural gas line in Union.
Young was part of a three-man crew running primary service to a home. The other linemen were not injured.
"As an electric utility we have a comprehensive safety program in place and we have complete confidence in the ability of our employees to handle all circumstances," said Bob Hance, Midwest president and chief executive officer. "In this case, as in all jobs, we worked with the utility notification system prior to commencing construction."
Cass County Sheriff Joseph M. Underwood reported that Central Dispatch received a call at approximately 9:46 a.m. Dec. 19, reporting that a gas line explosion had occurred near U.S. 12 and Tharp Lake Road in Porter Township.
Personnel from the Porter Township Fire Department, Cass County Sheriff's Office and Porter Township Ambulance Service, as well as other emergency units from the area, responded to the call in the southeast part of the county.
It was determined that a contract worker had punctured a natural gas line owned and operated by A&R Pipeline.
The area was evacuated with the assistance of fire and police personnel.
The Porter Township Fire Department was working with the pipeline company to shut off supply to the pipeline.
Once the situation was contained, Fire Department personnel planned to meet with the media at the library at the intersection of Kessington Road and U.S. 12.