Salem Twp. Residents Demand Answers About Pipeline Explosion

SALEM TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Hundreds of worried Westmoreland County residents demanded answers Wednesday evening during a meeting about last month’s massive gas pipeline explosion near their homes.

The far-reaching impact of the April explosion could be seen in the large crowd that gathered Wednesday night.

Hundreds looking for answers and some comfort as nerves are still rattled in Salem Township.

“How do you tell somebody that you’re safe when something like this has happened, and no one knows why it happened?” asked one resident.

Spectra Energy just released new video of ongoing work at the blast site.

Representatives set out to be as transparent as possible at the meeting. But some questions just don’t have answers yet.

“That’s what we’re looking for is to be very, very cautious, and bring anything that looks similar to this out of service and de-pressure it until we can figure this out,” said Andy Drake, of Spectra Energy. “That is the essence of what we stand to try to learn.”

“The pipe failed, gas started escaping and it found an ignition source,” Tom Wodden, also of Spectra Energy, said. “It could have been some of the rocks coming at it or something else like that, but the exact source of the ignition we haven’t been able to identify.”

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But residents were still concerned after the meeting.

“Where is DEP? Where are air quality information? Where is everything that we should know as citizens? These are folks that we fund,” said Lisa Segina, who lives near the blast site.

Spectra did address dozens of concerns publicly, but declined a one-on-one interview with KDKA after the session.

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