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Utility Files Suit Against NYC and Pipe Repair Company Over Steam Pipe Explosion


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11/17/2008
Brent Adams
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A utility which owns a steam pipe that exploded last summer has filed suit against the City of New York and a company that was hired to repair leaks in the pipe, alleging that the blast was contributed to by improperly ejected sealant and water from nearby sewer and pipelines.

Over 40 lawsuits following the July 18 explosion that took place in midtown Manhattan have already named Consolidated Edison Corp. as a defendant.

As a result of the rupturing of the 83-year-old pipe that caused it to spew a geyser of steam and mud that flung rock, asphalt, and concrete into the busy street, one woman died from a heart attack and dozens of people sustained personal injuries.

Earlier this year, Con Ed was found by New York State utility regulators to not have been properly managing its underground steam system before the blast occurred.

In the complaint filed on May 28 in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, the utility alleges that Team Industrial Services Inc., which is based out of Texas, negligently injected its sealant into the steam system by mistake during repairs of leaks in the pipe.

According to the suit, before the explosion took place a “foreign substance” Team introduced clogged the two steam traps servicing the steam main. The clog allegedly caused water to accumulate outside of the pipe which contributed to the rupture.

According to Con Ed, the city also showed negligence through its inadequate maintenance of the sewer and water lines, claiming that water from those pipelines accumulated near the steam pipe.



Category: General


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