Greenwood gas explosion investigation results expected by end of summer

by | May 18, 2016

Greenwood business owners frustrated by not knowing exactly what caused the March 9 natural gas explosion that destroyed three businesses and damaged 50 more, met with Mayor Ed Murray last week to ask for help getting updates on the state Utilities and Transportation Commission’s investigation.

Chaco Canyon Cafe owner Chris Maykut told me that the investigation results impact businesses that have insurance companies that are waiting for the cause before they take action. Some businesses still have plywood where their windows used to be.

Mayor Murray received a response from the UTC and emailed it to affected business owners yesterday:

Dear Mayor Murray:

Thank you for contacting the Utilities and Transportation Commission about the ongoing investigation into the Greenwood explosion.

We are sensitive to the community’s recovery efforts, and are working diligently to complete this investigation. Our priority is ensuring the safety of the people of Greenwood and the natural gas infrastructure that serves our communities.

While pipeline safety inspectors completed their work at the Greenwood site on March 15, the investigation continues. Inspectors are currently evaluating evidence collected at the explosion site, completing witness interviews, reviewing company records, and awaiting laboratory test results. When they have completed this work, a comprehensive investigation report will be published with their findings and conclusions.

Ultimately, the commission does not release detailed information about ongoing investigations until a final report is filed in order to prevent misinterpretations of isolated facts.

At this time, we hope to have a completed report by late summer, although that timeline may be extended depending on what the investigation uncovers.

Please direct any additional questions or concerns to the commission’s communications director, Amanda Maxwell, at (360) 664-1110 or [email protected].

Steven V. King
Executive Director and Secretary

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