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Gregory Spizer
Gregory Spizer
Attorney • (215) 790-4578

Allentown, Pennsylvania Gas Explosion – What Have We Learned

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It has been one week since the devastating gas explosion in Allentown. Five lives were lost and 47 properties were destroyed. The question many are asking – how could this have happened?

Since the explosion, the investigation has centered on a break in a 12-inch cast iron gas main. According to The Lehigh Valley News, UGI Utilities, the company that operates the pipeline that exploded, has sent the main to an independent lab for forensic testing.

While many gas pipelines are now made of plastic, which is considered to be the newest and safest technology, there are many pipelines that are still using unsafe materials such as cast iron. The Lehigh Valley News article cites a letter written by UGI’s President, John Walsh, in response to a letter from Senator Bob Casey, in which he writes that UGI spends 20 million dollars a year replacing and upgrading its pipelines.

While that is a start, more needs to be done and UGI has the ability to do so. A quick online search revealed that UGI had revenues of over 5 billion dollars in 2009 and 2010. More money and more resources spent on updating the pipelines needs to be completed immediately. Any time lapses could have devastating consequences.