SuperTalk Mississippi
Featured News Latest News

Gas company knew of leaks before Jackson home explosions, federal officials report

Atmos Energy
Photo from Atmos Energy

Federal officials are accusing a natural gas distribution company of having previous knowledge of a gas leak ahead of two home explosions in Jackson — one of which caused the death of an elderly woman.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Atmos Energy, which provided gas services to both locations where explosions took place, identified and classified leaks on their distribution system near the two homes.

The first explosion happened at 185 Bristol Boulevard on Wednesday, January 24, and claimed the life of 82-year-old Clara Barbour. A second explosion ensued just three days later at 1146 Shalimar Drive, which is less than one mile from the first location. The fire caused by the explosion spread to a neighboring home, but no fatalities or injuries were reported.

Atmos discovered the leak nearest to the Bristol Boulevard location on November 11, 2023, and classified it as a grade-2 leak, meaning that it was nonhazardous but would require repair in the future. The leak nearest to location two was discovered on December 1, 2023, and was classified as a grade-3 leak and therefore non-hazardous. Neither leak was repaired before the explosions, federal officials report.

Congressman Bennie Thompson issued the following statement in response to the explosions:

“I have formally requested an in-person briefing to thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding these alarming natural gas explosions and to determine whether they could have been prevented. The safety and well-being of our communities are paramount, and it is imperative that we take these incidents seriously. The potential risks posed by natural gas cannot be understated, and we must ensure that all necessary measures are in place to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.”

The incidents and Atmos Energy’s leak detection methods remain under investigation by federal authorities.

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More