Baltimore explosion destroys several houses, kills woman

Originally published at:


I didn’t see the cause in the article, but it is eerily similar to the San Bruno pipeline explosion of 2010.


According to NYT, a gas explosion:


infrastructure :worried:


Yeah looking at the scale of the explosion my guess is that it was natural gas. Really terrifying and sad to see things like this happen (disclaimer i work for a gas utility). Usually there are warning signs before things like this occur, people smelling gas occasionally, home equipment not working reliably, etc. I’d be curious to see if the neighbors or homeowners had at any point called in about smelling gas, if there was a leak at a house or if it was a leak at the main and it migrated to the house, etc.

Anyone getting hurt, or worse, dying from one of these events is unacceptable and i hope they find out what happened.


At my old house I used to smell gas at the end of the street occasionally, but was told the leak was too small to mess with? I may be remembering it wrong.

My ex-wife still lives there. I should ask if that ever got sorted.


When I was 19, I walked past a house on my block that smelled of NG. It was the middle of the night, but I went ahead and knocked on their door.

They opened it a crack, literally just enough to stick a gun in my face and told me to fuck off.

I turned around and left.

Their place didn’t explode but it did burn down two days later.


Usually one would call the gas company itself as they’re responsible for hunting down the leak.

Edit to add: But yeah fuck those people if they put a gun in your face. I don’t wish ill to anyone but answering the door with a gun is really something

It is possible that a leak can be small enough that they put it into a work queue and depending on the severity of the leak they can circle back to it months or year(s) later. Though they are supposed to do leak surveys every now and then to ensure that it is not migrating into a home, sewer, underground vault, etc and collecting gas. If you are curious about it you can def inquire with your ex if she still smells gas, if the answer is yes she should check in again with the utility. Pretty sure there are compliance regulations they have to follow for leaks regardless of what state this is in.


the window sash scattered in the backyards would indicate the explosion was from within the house{s)

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Oh, the memories. The maintenance department at my first employer would not move on a repair/trouble call until after the requester made multiple requests and/or elevated it to upper management (ex: production is being affected or deliverables/tests are being held up). Otherwise, their policy was to let the job sit in their queue, then — if no strong follow-ups were made by the requester — they would buy it off as “completed” and remove it from their job queue. Convenient, self-serving logic system at work there.

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For natural gas there is a pretty strict process for handling leaks, i can’t speak for all companies and states of course as there might be differences elsewhere. At the very least where i work leaks are heavily overlooked with the Texas Railroad Commission and they regularly audit our records and processes, so there’d be no room for finding excuses not to handle a leak.

For other industries or businesses i can definitely see how if there’s no accountability people would easily find ways to BS the work queue. We struggle with keeping up with the work quite often but we do our best :slight_smile:


Looks like the destruction experienced across Massachussetts when dis-regulated gas lines caused explosions destroying 40 homes & setting another 80 ablaze.

That back in the fall of 2018.


That event really upsets me when i think about it. Any incident is a big deal and what happened in Massachusetts is unforgivable.


This had happened elsewhere in Maryland (Silver Spring, about 35 miles away) just a few years ago.


I grew up with a gas stove whose pilot light did not work, and so I got really good at recognizing the smell of gas (also burnt all the hair on my hands off numerous times trying to light the oven – good times!).

At any rate, when I was pregnant and had a heightened sense of smell I was walking down the street and smelled gas. I saw some workers and told them, and indeed there had been a gas leak some time previous that they were repairing.

They were amazed I could smell it. I was amazed that they were letting folks walk down the street with that much gas lingering in the air.


They’ll investigate carefully, I’m sure.

A genius gentleman neighbour of a relative killed his wife, and decided to cover his tracks by turning on the gas and going out to the backyard. He blew up the house, badly damaged the surrounding houses, and was severely injured.

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True that.

I think the utility & the state came to a compensation agreement last summer. I can’t imagine a satisfactory number.

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Looking at the photos, to me it seems the leaky pipe was inside the house, and went undetected until the house was so saturated with gas that any small spark could ignite it.

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Nobody wants to spend money on that shit until it breaks.