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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Unhappy Snow Hill, Maryland

    As reported in Firehouse.com news. Apparently, there was one fatality.
    ______________________________ ______________
    SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - A house explosion killed a gas utility
    worker and injured 17 firefighters and paramedics Sunday night,
    Snow Hill police said.
    The one-story home in the 300 block of Bay Street exploded at
    about 5:30 p.m. after the resident reported a gas leak, said Snow
    Hill police Chief Michael McDermott. Emergency officials evacuated
    a neighborhood of about 20 homes, The (Salisbury) Daily Times
    reported.
    The gas supply to the area was turned off, and officials asked
    residents to report any gas leaks immediately, McDermott said.
    "It's a very dangerous situation," he said. "We're taking
    every precaution."
    Police did not identify the Eastern Shore Gas worker who died.
    Calls to the utility late Sunday were not returned.
    Two of those injured were flown to University of Maryland Shock
    Trauma, McDermott said. Six were on their way by ambulance late
    Sunday to the burn unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center,
    and three were in critical condition at Peninsula Regional Medical
    Center in Salisbury.
    Peninsula Regional spokeswoman Donna Richardson said the
    remaining injured were being evaluated in the emergency room late
    Sunday.
    Firefighters had evacuated one woman from the home, but two went
    inside to investigate a reported gas leak when the fumes ignited,
    McDermott said. The location of the others who were injured at the
    time of the explosion was not immediately known, he said.
    McDermott said water on the ground, after 12 hours of heavy rain
    and flooding, may have disrupted underground gas lines.
    An evacuation shelter was opened at All Hallow's Episcopal
    Church in Snow Hill.
    Agencies on the scene of the explosion included: Snow Hill Fire
    Department, Snow Hill police, Maryland State Police, Worcester
    County Sheriff's Department and firefighters from Pokomoke City and
    Girdletree.


    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 09-02-2002 at 01:39 AM.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

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  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Unhappy Update 01:30 EDT

    SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - A house explosion jarred an Eastern Shore
    neighborhood Sunday night, killing a gas utility worker and
    injuring four residents and 13 firefighters.
    The explosion blew firefighters off their feet, leaving police
    officers to pick up fire hoses and extinguish the blaze, said Snow
    Hill police Chief Michael McDermott.
    The wood-frame home at 304 Bay Street in Worcester County
    exploded at about 5:30 p.m. as firefighters were investigating a
    gas leak, McDermott said. Emergency workers may have been plugging
    in fans to blow the gas odor out of the home when a spark ignited
    the fumes, he said.
    Sonny Larson, Snow Hill's fire chief of 28 years, said the gas
    was turned off at the meter, but gas apparently still leaked from
    the line.
    "The guys were coming out," he said of the firefighters. "All
    of a sudden it was 'Boom!' and that was it."
    Larson suffered cuts to his face and arms and was treated at
    Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. Hours later, he
    stood in the fire house wearing a hospital gown and blue jeans
    streaked with blood.
    He said most of the firefighters were hurt by flames in the
    explosion and by flying glass. Firefighter Jay Bare said most of
    the men were outside the house, gathered around a back corner, when
    it exploded.
    "I think they had been on the scene for several minutes, enough
    to gather more people there before the explosion," Larson said.
    The house lay in a pile, with glass and metal debris strewn 50
    yards away. A door from the home lay on a sidewalk nearby.
    McDermott said water on the ground, after 12 hours of heavy rain
    and flooding, may have disrupted underground gas lines and caused a
    leak.
    Another explosion rocked an Essex home at about 11:15 p.m.
    Sunday, Baltimore County police said, sending one person to Johns
    Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The cause was under investigation.
    Police did not identify the Eastern Shore Gas worker who died.
    Workers for the utility responded to the scene Sunday but did not
    comment, and calls to the utility were not returned.
    Six of the injured were taken by ambulance to the burn unit at
    Bayview Medical Center, and three were in critical condition at
    Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. Larson said their
    family members with them.
    Eight others were treated and released from Peninsula Regional,
    a hospital spokeswoman said.
    Sadie Dryden, 87, was home at the time. Her son rescued her from
    the debris and rubble, McDermott said.
    "She was buried in it," he said.
    Three other nearby homes in the working-class neighborhood,
    including one two blocks away, reported gas leaks. The gas supply
    to the area was turned off, and crews from Eastern Shore Gas were
    investigating the sources and repairing leaks, McDermott said.
    Two homes, one on either side of the demolished house, remained
    evacuated late Sunday and were roped off with yellow crime scene
    tape.
    The blast shattered windows at the nearby Tyson Foods Grain
    Mill, and shook homes four blocks away, witnesses told The
    (Salisbury) Daily Times.
    Firefighters closed through traffic in front of the home as
    workers investigated the gas leak, said Scott Brown, a volunteer
    firefighter who was nearby when the house blew up.
    "I was directing traffic and the next thing I knew I was lying
    on the ground," he said.
    The explosion is being investigated by Worcester County fire
    marshals, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the
    federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.


    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  3. #3
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Arrow Monday Update

    SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - Even though the odor of propane gas hung
    dangerously heavy in the air, 87-year-old Sadie Dryden steadfastly
    refused to leave her home, ignoring the pleadings of worried
    friends and emergency workers.
    "She was sitting on the porch," said her son-in-law Wayne
    Young, 62. "I told her to go outside and get some fresh air."
    Seconds later, a powerful explosion lifted the small Cape
    Cod-style home in a working-class neighborhood in this town of
    2,600 off its foundation.
    The blast Sunday evening killed a utility company worker and
    left Dryden and 16 other people injured, 13 of them members of the
    Snow Hill Volunteer Fire Dept.
    "I seen a bunch of firefighters laying on the ground," said
    Snow Hill police officer Chris McLain, who went to the house after
    receiving a call from Young and immediately sent for firefighters
    after he opened the basement door and was almost overcome by gas
    fumes. "Some were up walking around covered with blood.
    With dazed firefighters tending to themselves and their injured
    colleagues, McLain, 30, grabbed a fire hose and began knocking down
    flames.
    "I could hear Miss Sadie saying 'Help me! Help me!"' he said.
    "I asked where she was and I seen her hand come through the
    window. The wall was laying on top of her. She kept on saying 'Help
    me, help me, I'm on fire!"'
    After McLain extinguished the flames, Young and Snow Hill police
    officer Kenneth Parr pulled Dryden from the wreckage.
    Dryden, who was listed in satisfactory condition Monday at
    Peninsula Regional Medical Center, suffered minor injuries, but six
    firefighters were taken to the burn unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview
    Medical Center in Baltimore.
    Firefighters Howard Stevens, William Heiser Jr., Warren Bevard
    and Ray Wooten were listed in critical condition at Bayview late
    Monday. Firefighters Jim Phillips and Jack Moyer were in serious
    condition, a nursing supervisor said.
    Eight others were treated and released from Peninsula Regional
    Medical Center in Salisbury, a hospital spokeswoman said.
    Firefighters Scott Cylc and Eddie Smith, who were leaving the
    basement of the house just as it exploded, both were listed in
    satisfactory condition.
    Ignatius Daniel Saienni, 38, of Stockton, an employee of Eastern
    Shore Gas Co., was killed in the blast.
    Police chief Michael McDermott said Saienni and another Eastern
    Shore employee were investigating another reported gas leak in the
    area, where heavy rains flooded homes and roadways over the
    weekend, when Saienni heard of a problem at Dryden's house.
    "He walked into (Dryden's) house and that's the last I saw of
    him," said Maibelle Lee, 38, a neighbor who was on the porch with
    Dryden, trying unsuccessfully to persuade her to leave.
    "I saw vapors over a fireman's head," Lee said. ".... I saw
    the vapors and immediately after that, it just exploded."
    Investigators with the Worcester County fire marshal's office,
    the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were on the scene Monday
    but did not immediately determine the exact cause of the blast.
    Steve Ashcraft, general manager of Eastern Shore Gas, refused to
    speculate on the cause of the explosion. He referred questions to
    Ocean City attorney Mark Cropper, who did not immediately return
    telephone messages left by The Associated Press.
    McDermott said 12 hours of heavy rain that left the ground
    saturated and caused localized flooding may have disrupted the
    underground gas lines that serve much of Snow Hill.
    Gas leaks were also found at two other homes in the area,
    including one two blocks away, he said.
    Monday afternoon, a heavy equipment operator began knocking down
    the remains of the house so Young and other relatives could
    retrieve some of her belongings. They carted away antique chairs,
    photographs, books and clothing as bystanders gawked at the
    wreckage and wondered how more people weren't killed.
    "I know that God had his hand on me," said Lee, who suffered
    only minor cuts from flying glass and metal. "I think he had his
    hand on a lot of people."

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  4. #4
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Arrow Investigation

    SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - Inspection of propane supply pipes began
    Monday in this small Lower Shore town where a home explosion killed
    one and injured 13 firefighters a week ago.
    The Eastern Shore Gas Co., which provides the propane used in
    the system, also plans to hire an independent consultant to
    evaluate the system, said company president Steve Ashcraft.
    Residents say the smell of leaking propane has been common for
    years.
    "I think everybody is just stunned, and they've had time to
    think about it, to be concerned," said Ruth Young.
    Young's 87-year-old mother, Sadie Dryden, remains in a Salisbury
    hospital where she is recovering from injuries suffered when her
    house exploded Sept. 1.
    Eastern Shore Gas worker Ignatius Daniel Saienni, 38, of
    Stockton, was killed in the blast. A half-dozen badly burned
    firefighters also still are hospitalized at the Johns Hopkins
    Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore.
    "Our phone never stops ringing with people asking about my
    mother, but a lot of people say they're scared to death," Young
    said.
    The cause of the blast hasn't been determined, said Worcester
    County Fire Marshal Jeff McMahon, but a piece of corroded
    underground pipe was turned over to the state agency that oversees
    seven propane gas suppliers.
    Worcester County fire officials, the federal Bureau of Alcohol
    and Firearms and the National Transportation Safety Board are also
    investigating the explosion.
    More than 100 residents packed a school auditorium in Snow Hill
    on Thursday night for a hastily arranged meeting with town
    officials and representatives of the county fire marshal's office,
    the state Public Service Commission and Eastern Shore Gas.
    Many who attended wore red lapel pins in honor of the Saienni
    and the injured firefighters.
    Firefighters said they were investigating a report of a gas leak
    when Dryden's home suddenly was blown off its foundation. Police
    were left to pick up hoses and knock down the fire after
    firefighters were blown off their feet.
    Veterans of the approximately 60-member community fire and
    rescue company, which had 13 of its members injured in the blast,
    say they answer 10 to 15 calls a year from residents who report
    possible leaks in lines that were installed 50 years ago.
    Alex Dankanich, manager of the state commission's Pipeline
    Safety Program, is heading the investigation. He said that minor
    leaks are commonplace for municipal systems, regardless of the size
    of the community.
    Inspections, which assess potential danger, are routine in most
    towns and cities, Dankanich said.
    Al Cohen, a former Snow Hill town manager, agreed. He said the
    inspections usually prevent serious problems.
    "The condition of infrastructure is an issue for any
    municipality in the state," Cohen said. "Snow Hill is not much
    different from Baltimore or most other places."
    But Snow Hill residents said they are wary. They said they
    remember an incident about 18 months ago when an employee of
    Eastern Shore Gas was overcome by fumes when he checked a leak.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  5. #5
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    Default update on explosion

    A lot of rumors were going around about that call and exactly what was happening. The understanding I had was the firefighters were getting ready to leave and releasing over the scene to the gas company. The fire dept had not setup fans. As far as I know most of the firefighters have returned home, although a few are still hospitalized.
    Mike

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber NB87JW's Avatar
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    Default

    I found this press release from one of the eyewitness firefighters.

    Here: http://home.dmv.com/~shvfd/press.htm

    There is quite possibly NOTHING "routine".


    Be safe,

    JW
    "Making Sense with Common Sense"
    Motor Vehicle Rescue Consultants
    ( MVRC@comcast.net) Jordan Sr.

  7. #7
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Propane leaking

    SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - An inspection of propane lines ordered
    after a deadly home explosion blamed on a gas leak has found 32
    other leaks so far, a town official said.
    The safety check of the propane lines, which followed the Sept.
    1 explosion, is half complete and should be finished later this
    week.
    "That's not good news," said Mindie Burgoyne, a spokeswoman
    for Snow Hill town government. "We only have about 800 people on
    the system. This is a significant percentage."
    Investigators have said the explosion was caused by a broken gas
    line. Heavy rains trapped the leaking propane gas in the ground,
    and the vapors seeped into the basement of the house. As the gas
    filled the house, more than 25 gas workers, police and firefighters
    were called to investigate. The rescue workers were attempting to
    pump out the gas when the propane ignited, officials said.
    The blast killed gas company worker Ignatius Daniel Saienni, 38,
    and injured 13 firefighters and four residents.
    Two of the leaks discovered last week during the safety check
    were rated Grade 1, meaning they posed a danger of another
    explosion and were repaired by Eastern Shore Gas Co., Burgoyne
    said.
    The 30 other leaks, found along main gas lines that supply lines
    to houses across the town of 1,200 people, were rated Grade 2. The
    gas leaks are only required to be watched, but the Ocean City-based
    utility plans to fix them soon, Burgoyne said.
    The company is being investigated by the Maryland Public Service
    Commission, which reviews company records and maintenance following
    serious accidents.
    The gas lines in Snow Hill are more than 50 years old. The leaks
    are disturbing, but Burgoyne said town officials haven't talked
    about replacing the lines.
    "I don't think ripping up the town would solve anything,"
    Burgoyne said. "We will be satisfied as long as we know the gas
    lines are safe."

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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