Explosion that Killed Homeowner Costs Company $225,000

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A gas company hired a construction company to install natural gas lines. During excavation, the blade of a plough severed an unmarked propane line, causing propane to leak into a house’s basement. The next day, one of the homeowners entered the basement and lit a candle. The propane that had accumulated exploded, killing the homeowner. The MOL concluded that a supervisor was aware of the propane line, but assumed that it wouldn’t be in the path of the natural gas line. And the homeowners weren’t present to supervise the location and excavation of the existing propane lines. The company pleaded guilty to failing to ask the owner of the propane service to locate and mark the service prior to the excavation. The court fined it $225,000 [Aecon Construction Group Inc., Govt. News Release, March 9, 2011].