NORTH FRANKLIN (KDKA) — Following an explosion in Washington County, Columbia Gas is beginning cleanup efforts at no cost to customers affected by the incident today.

“As part of Columbia Gas’ commitment to help our customers recover, we have engaged a contractor, SERVPRO, along with support from NPL, to clear all debris from the site of the explosion and from the properties of any other individuals that may have been affected,” Columbia Gas said in a statement. “Clean-up work will begin on August 2 and will be done at no cost to those affected.”

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Large items were thrown from one yard to the next and debris settled on lawns like shredded paper from a ticker-tape parade, a constant reminder of the explosion that happened Wednesday afternoon, but Columbia Gas Spokesperson Lee Gierczynski says the company is committed.

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“Columbia Gas, we are committed to helping customers recover from this incident,” Gierczynski said.

They are also suspending work on pipeline replacement and modernization projects in order to restore customer properties to their standard conditions.

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    • Amy Bisset whose house is a block away from the explosion site has her concerns about dig sites that have been left open.

      “You can see the exposed gas line and also a valve,” she said. “I’m concerned what is the pressure going through there, could there be a repeat of what happened down there.”

      Those with concerns like Bissett are asked to call Columbia Gas at 1-888-460-4332.

      “This is just the first step in that process to help customers recover,” Gierczynski said. “The next step is the claims process, f they have a claim issue they can contact us.”

      The claims hotline number is 1-800-445-5846.

      Columbia Gas took responsibility for the explosion that occurred Wednesday evening and injured five.

      “Our customers deserve safe, reliable delivery of natural gas,” President and COO of Columbia Gas Mike Huwar said. “We failed to deliver on this mission, and for that we are deeply sorry.”