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PUC, PGW Reach Tentative Settlement On Deadly Tacony Gas Explosion

The aftermath of a natural gas blast in Tacony in January, 2011.  (Credit: Jim Melwert)

The aftermath of a natural gas blast in Tacony in January, 2011. (Credit: Jim Melwert)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The Public Utility Commission’s enforcement staff and PGW have reached a tentative $500,000 settlement on alleged violations stemming from a deadly gas explosion in the city’s Tacony section in January 2011.

The explosion, which occurred as PGW workers were on scene investigating a gas leak, killed Mark Keeley, a 19-year-old employee of the city-owned gas utility. The PUC’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement hit PGW with 334 counts of safety violations, including failure to minimize the risk of an explosion where a gas hazard existed.tacony gas explosion mark keeley PUC, PGW Reach Tentative Settlement On Deadly Tacony Gas Explosion

PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says the proposed settlement of the complaint totals half a million dollars.

“And it includes a $400,000 civil penalty, and $100,000 to buy smoke detectors for the Philadelphia fire department to distribute, as well as other safety measures that were asked for.”

The proposed settlement must be approved by a PUC administrative law judge before the full commission makes a final decision.

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