Mock gas line rupture shows dangers of digging without permission

Mock gas line rupture shows dangers of digging without permission
Contractors staged a pipeline rupture to show how dangerous a real one can be. (Source: Justin Hawkins)

SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - An annual training day for contractors, utility workers and first responders was capped off with a reminder of why it’s important to know what’s below ground before digging into it.

For anyone who owns a home, it’s important the contractors who built it followed certain protocol, but it’s also important for homeowners to know what steps they need to take when doing their own work.

The Kansas-based company "Enertech" staged a gas pipeline rupture in Scottsburg, IN Wednesday that they said is as close to the real thing as possible.

“Striking a natural gas line is not something anyone wants to take lightly,” Enertech president Mark Allen said. “Should it happen, you literally have only seconds to make decisions that could save your life.”

Kelly Shafer of Midwest Gas in Scottsburg said it’s important to call 8-1-1 before digging around a home to avoid serious injuries to yourself or others.

“Things like that happen every day,” Shafer said. “Because they got in a hurry, didn’t want to call, or didn’t know to call.”

Schafer has been in the business for over three decades. He’s seen a lot of people put themselves into dangerous situations.

“It's a free call,” Shafer added. “It's not going to cost them anything.”

Shafer said they’ve responded to a ruptured line as recently as Tuesday.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.