U.S. Army Corps to help investigate natural gas blast
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will be assisting the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in its investigation of a fatal, Feb. 23, 2018, natural gas-fueled explosion in Dallas, Texas.
The USACE began taking soil samples this week in the area of Espanola Drive and Durango Drive in Dallas, to help the NTSB evaluate the technical accuracy of the preliminary geotechnical assessment report. The USACE will also perform lab testing of the collected soil samples and will submit their report by April 30, 2019.
“The NTSB is obtaining these soil samples to aid our assessment of the potential impact the local soil conditions may have had with gas leaks that were observed in the area prior to the Feb. 23, 2018, explosion,” said Robert Hall, Director of the NTSB’s Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials.
This is the last major task to be conducted in this investigation. The NTSB has completed its metallurgical testing as well as its review of the Atmos emergency response and operations. The NTSB anticipates opening the docket, which will contain factual reports developed in the course of this investigation, in the second quarter of this year.
A 12-year-old girl was killed and four others injured in the explosion at a residence at 3534 Espanola Drive, Dallas. That accident was preceded by two natural gas related events at 3527 and 3515 Durango Drive, Dallas on Feb. 21 and 22, 2018. More than 300 residences were subsequently evacuated due to the nature and number of natural gas pipeline leaks discovered in the residential neighborhood.