Pursuant to our vapor-provisioning crisis, I had dinner with my folks and one couple of my aunts and uncles tonight. My uncle’s career was in welding, specifically as a pipefitter, and worked on the Alaska Pipeline back in the seventies. As soon as he heard my tale of gas-pipe woes, he first asked me a bunch of technical questions that, of course, I could not answer as I was unfamiliar with the terminology. Then he said, “It’s probably a good thing you had all that taken care of. Slow leaks like that can lead to gas pockets in the house that can blow a structure completely off the foundation slab.”

I suppose I knew this and all, but when a man who spent fifty years building pipe-based mechanisms for transporting flammable material over long distances tells you this, you hear it.

As an aside, I caught a really interesting American Experience a couple weeks ago which was about the construction of the Pipeline. My uncle tells me that he knew three of the guys that were interviewed for the show, and that he felt it accurately captured his experience on the project. I was glad to hear it, because watching the documentary had made me proud of my uncle.

One thought on “Boom

  1. That actually happened to a friend of mine recently–his uncle died when his house exploded because of a slow leak in a gas pipe he thought was turned off.

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