Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 35° Partly Cloudy
News >  Pacific NW

Regulators: Puget Sound Energy failure caused explosion in Seattle

Associated Press

SEATTLE – A state Utilities and Transportation Commission investigation says Puget Sound Energy failed to properly disconnect and seal a gas pipeline that caused a natural gas explosion in Seattle in March.

The report said a pipeline between two buildings in a neighborhood north of downtown was left active despite being abandoned in 2004.

The blast sent nine firefighters to a hospital and damaged numerous businesses.

The report says people using the space between buildings to store belongings broke the pipe at a threaded connection. Gas escaped and accumulated inside or under a building before it ignited.

Due to the investigation’s findings, a complaint has been filed against the utility alleging 17 violations of pipeline safety regulations. If affirmed by the commission, the utility could face up to $3.2 million in penalties.

A statement from PSE called the fines “disappointing and excessive.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.