Georgia Public Service: Gas Company Failures Led to Homerville Coffee Shop Blast
HOMERVILLE, GA. – According to an online news story published at wctv.tv, a report from the Georgia Public Service Commission has concluded that failures of a gas company led to a 2018 explosion at a coffee shop in Homerville, Georgia. The explosion injured three people who were inside the shop at the time.*
The incident occurred on August 17, 2018, on East Dame Avenue in Homerville. A construction crew was placing a fiber optic cable near the location of The Coffee Corner and reportedly struck a gas line. The crew also reportedly hit a sewer line, which caused gas to leak into the coffee shop through the sewer.
Atlanta Gas Light came to the scene and capped the gas line but apparently did not address the problem in full. An explosion ensued, causing extensive damage to the coffee shop and serious injuries to three women in the building.
The Georgia Public Service Commission released a report concluding that Atlanta Gas Light committed several violations leading up to the blast and in addressing the aftermath of the blast. The commission proposed a penalty of $2.3 million for the violations.
First, the report found that the gas company did not adequately mark its gas lines before construction began. Second, when crews from Atlanta Gas Light responded to the leak, they did not shut off the gas. Third, when the gas company capped its line, it then failed to inspect the area for remaining leaks or for the presence of gas. Atlanta Gas Light declared the site safe around 11:50 a.m. that day, and the explosion occurred less than 30 minutes later.
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