Columbia Gas: ‘No Current Safety Concerns' Following Overpressurization Incident in Monson, Massachusetts

Columbia Gas is on scene in Monson for a possible overpressurization of gas lines in the western Massachusetts town, but says, "there are no current safety concerns at this time."

Monson police said just after 5 p.m. that Columbia Gas had recently contacted them to report a possible overpressurization of gas lines. As a precaution, police said the gas company dispatched workers to the area to check their infrastructure.

Columbia Gas reported everything had returned to "normal operation condition," at 6:10 p.m. They said a gas control monitor showed a reading slightly above normal at 1 p.m. The situation was corrected within six minutes, the utility said.

Columbia Gas says they are conducting leak surveys on the gas mains and service lines in sections of Monson and Palmer until approximate 11 p.m., but want to note there are no safety concerns at this time. Gas meters at each home or building on the gas main line have a regulator which eliminates the possibility of over pressurization, according to Columbia Gas.

As of 9 p.m., the company said, 75 percent of safety checks in Monson and Palmer had been completed with no findings. The company added that crews would continue the safety checks until all of them were completed.

"We assure you the area is safe, and we will continue to provide you with updates," the company said on Twitter.

Anyone who detects the smell of natural gas is urged to immediately vacate their residence or business and call 911. Specific questions about natural gas service can be directed to Columbia Gas at 1-800-688-6160 or 1-800-525-8222.

Columbia Gas is still working to recover from a Sept. 13, 2018, incident where an accidental overpressurization of gas lines caused a series of explosions and fires that killed an 18-year-old, injured dozens of others, damaged hundreds of buildings and left thousands of customers without natural gas service for months.

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