Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) are in Firestone, Colorado to examine what’s left of a home that blew up when an abandoned pipeline from a nearby well leaked gas into the basement. The explosion killed two people and left a third badly burned.

How it happened

News sources reported that fire officials said the blast was caused by unrefined natural gas that was leaking from a small abandoned pipeline from a nearby well. The line had apparently been cut, but it’s not known how or why that occurred. The pipeline was buried about 7 feet underground.

Preliminary information indicates that the well was no longer in service, but an uncapped flow line came within several feet of the home and was the likely source of the explosion.  CSB investigators will be examining these circumstances.

Firestone is about 30 miles north of Denver.

About the CSB

The CSB is an independent, non-regulatory federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical incidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.