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Utility Technicians Trigger Home Gas Explosion, Seriously Burned

Three gas company employees were involved in a propane explosion this week. All three are still hospitalized with critical burn injuries. The accident occurred in a residential home while the men tried to install new equipment.

The workers planned to attach new propane tanks. When they turned the system back on, they smelled a gas leak. One of the workers found an old pipe that once supplied an appliance. Since it was disconnected, the pipe leaked gas into the basement. After turning off propane service and plugging the pipe, the men ventilated the house and waited for the gas to dissipate.

After awhile, the workers went back inside, thinking the house was safe. But when one worker relit the pilot light, accumulated gas exploded. The explosion damaged the house and caused severe burns over much of the workers' bodies. Witnesses across the street saw flames shoot out of the windows. None of the residents were present in the home at the time.

One of the workers, a 20-year-old man, suffered life-threatening burns. Serious burn injuries are devastating and can require a long, painful treatment process with multiple skin grafts and reconstructive surgery. Even long after the injury, chronic neurogenic pain can persist. This can have debilitating and far-reaching consequences for victims.

Source: CT Post, "Shelton blast victims remain in critical condition," Anne M. Amato, Sept. 11, 2012

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