Gas Explosion: Investigation Update
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - One week after the massive gas explosion that leveled a house at 1752 N. Seventh St., burned another almost to the ground at 1742 N. Seventh St. and left three people hospitalized, officials are still hard at work investigating key details in the case.
The complicated, multi-agency case had left many questions unanswered as of Tuesday.
Much like the homes' rubble, officials are sifting through the details of what happened March 19.
"Cause is still being determined. There are multiple people investigating, as you can understand, and so there is nothing along those lines yet," said Sam Rainguet with the city of Grand Junction.
The allegedly unmarked gas line is also not confirmed at this point.
Officials say the investigation involves the city of Grand Junction, Xcel Energy, Apeiron Utility Construction and various insurance companies.
Gas levels monitored throughout this week by Xcel and the city of Grand Junction are "as close to zero as you can measure," said Fred Eggleston, Western Slope area manager for Xcel. "There's always a little gas ... methane, those kind of gasses, that naturally reside."
"We do have some vented manhole covers down there we'll probably have those for about a month," said Rainguet. "That's a safety precaution and a way that the air will continue to escape out of the sewer system."
"Everything is safe. People can feel comfortable there," Eggleston explained.
Eggleston told NewsChannel 5 the energy company has been inundated with calls from worried residents.
"The community has been shocked over this event. They're still at a shocked state," he added.
Eggleston says Xcel is taking every call very seriously. He also encourage residents who plan on digging, to call Xcel first.
"This time of year, we have homeowners who want to go out and put their sprinkler systems in. They rent a trencher and they go in and suddenly they hit their gas line," Eggleston said.
Officials also say residents should report any issues with the sewage system, such as bubbles coming up from the toilet or improper draining/flushing, by calling 911.
NewsChannel 5 will continue to provide investigation updates as they become available.