Public Utility Commission ongoing safety investigation into Tyrone Explosion

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Blair County, Pa (WTAJ)- The Public Utility Commission is ongoing a safety investigation in the Tyrone house explosion on July 26 that left one person dead and five others injured. The PUC says that the investigation is within the information-gathering stage. They’re conducting interviews and periodically going to the site.

Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, a PUC spokesperson says that the safety team is primarily looking into answering what happened, why it happened, and how this can be prevented in other parts of the state.

“They’re really looking at this incident from two perspectives,” Hagen-Frederiksen said. “One what happened and two, how do we prevent it from happening again because that’s the broader lesson that can be learned and applied to all public utilities across the state.”

The safety division is a team of specialized engineers and experts who work on investigations involving pipelines, natural gas, electricity, and other potential safety issues.

A part of PUC’s investigation involves waiting for the investigations from the fire marshals and state police to be complete. Hagen-Frederiksen says that investigations like the explosion could take as long as a year to complete.

“From a safety division perspective, these are the kinds of investigations that take months or longer before the safety division has run its course,” Hagen-Frederiksen said. “And in some cases, it could take a year or longer.”

The Tyrone Borough Council had their first meeting Monday since the explosion. A part discussed with the explosion was the halt to the town’s 5 million dollar water project. This project will replace two miles of water mains throughout the community. The company working on Pennsylvania Ave has not commented to Tyrone Mayor Bill Latchford on a possible return.

“And the company will let us know when they’re going to start back up again,” Latchford said. “It definitely puts a hold on everything, so it extends the length of the project and the torn-up roads. Hopefully, we can get that started to get back to normal in most of the Tyrone area.”

The mayor says that the Borough is awaiting the police’s investigation.

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