February 7, 2016

Omaha utility sues Iowa construction firm after gas line explosion

Northern Natural Gas Company of Omaha, Nebraska, is suing a Le Mars, Iowa-based construction company after a gas line blew up last April near Hinton in northwest Iowa.

The accident occurred when two employees of the DeRocher Construction were trenching for a tile line and had hit the underground 24-inch gas line producing an explosion and a fireball that could be seen for miles.

Two people were injured during that explosion.

Northern Natural Gas is seeking $439,273 in compensation for what it says is for emergency response, inspection and repair, labor, equipment usage, gas loss, and third-party contractor costs while repairs were made.

Northern Natural Gas claims that the DeRocher Construction Company did not call Iowa One Call, a utility locater hotline prior to their trenching work.

By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars

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