ONG official report cites “poor workmanship” for gas explosion that destroyed home

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Poor workmanship is what Oklahoma Natural Gas is saying caused a massive explosion about a month ago near N.W. 122nd and Rockwell.

In all, three people were injured in the explosion and dozens of homes were damaged in the neighborhood.

Initially, fire investigators said it was obvious that natural gas found its way to an ignition source inside the home, which led to the explosion.

However, an exact cause was not available at the time.

An official report from Oklahoma Natural Gas, which was released on Monday, confirms the cause of the explosion was a crack in one of the welds of the plastic pipes.

The report says in 33 years, the pipeline had not been pressure tested, but neighbors say they've had gas leaks in the past.

"This isn't the first time people have smelled gas and I think it scares us," Connie Ragsdale says.

Ragsdale has lived on Whispering Hollow for a long time, and says she was home the night of the explosion.

"They were working on it that night at 3 o' clock in the morning," Ragsdale says.

According to the report, there were three ONG workers investigating the smell of gas at the residence right next door.

"It just seems like it's a hassle to have it here like this," Ragsdale said.

A hassle Michael Boyd says almost cost his grandparents' lives.

"They're 80-years-old, they're extremely resilient, and they want to rebuild," Boyd says.

According to the report, along with the poor workmanship, a leak resulted from a crack in a butt fusion weld in a four-inch plastic pipe.

The crack was a little more than three inches on the outside and nearly two inches along the inside.

"There's been a couple leaks up and down this pipeline before, so there's actually known incidences down this street since the neighborhood went in," Boyd said.

But according to the report, the pipe has never been pressure tested.

"You come in here and look at the damage, how did anyone survive? And then knowing they were right in here and the ceiling came down on them," Boyd says.

The report also states that the blast did about $500,000 in damage.

An ONG spokeswoman said they would not be giving an additional interview on the report.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is still working on their part of the investigation.

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