DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While the victims of the Plano house explosion due to a likely gas leak in the home recover, investigators are working to understand how it happened.
Six people, three adults and three children were hurt. One lived in the house and five were neighbors.
Investigators spent Tuesday, January 20 sifting through the debris and analyzing the trajectory of the blast.
“The Fire Marshal wants to emphasize that it is an isolated leak in this home, in this structure, and the neighboring homes don’t have anything to worry about danger from this incident,” said Capt. Peggy Harrell with Plano Fire-Rescue.
But locating the source of the leak will be a challenge, according to Don Deaver, an independent consultant for pipeline companies and expert witness.
“When you’ve had an explosion, it’s very difficult to put together all the pieces and determine exactly what happened,” he said.
He said there will most likely there be two or three possible causes, but he said every explosion case in the Dallas area he’s seen comes back to soil and weather.
“I understand there were several rain storms that day,” Deaver said. “That rain will seal, just like pavement, over that soil and cause the gas to move vertically over the house.”
He said he’s not surprised there weren’t any reports of a gas-like odor, saying that’s an unreliable way for the public to detect a leak.
“The gas is also supposed to have enough odorant, smell to it, for people to be able to detect it. But the problem is most people have a reduced sense of smell,” he said.
For older homes, he recommends gas detection alarms.
He said the gas companies should provide them, which would be one step toward preventing situations like this one.
CBS 11 has reached out to Atmos for comment about the explosion.