The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 14, 2012

Investigators looking into explosion

INDIANAPOLIS — Investigators in the Indianapolis explosion that killed two people and decimated a neighborhood believe natural gas was involved and are focusing on appliances as they search for a cause, a city official said Tuesday.

Indianapolis Homeland Security Director Gary Coons made the announcement after the National Transportation Safety Board said investigators had found no leaks in the gas main or pipes leading into the house that exploded. The explosion Saturday leveled two homes and left dozens more uninhabitable.

Coons said his “investigators believe natural gas is involved” and were “recovering the appliances from destroyed homes to help determine the cause.”

“Based on the NTSB statement, our focus is on the houses and appliances,” Coons said in a statement.

The blast showed some signs that aren’t typical of a natural gas explosion caused by an appliance, experts said, but it still could have been tied to a faulty furnace — if conditions were right.

An owner of the house believed to be at the center of the explosion has said the home’s furnace had been having problems. But his estranged wife, Monserrate Shirley, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the thermostat was replaced recently, correcting a problem heating the home. Shirley, who lived in the house but wasn’t there during the explosion, said she had smelled a strange odor outside before the blast, but didn’t know if it was natural gas.

But experts said homeowners shouldn’t be worried that their furnaces are about to explode.

John Erickson, vice president of the American Public Gas Association, said it would take a far more serious malfunction than just a pilot light going out. And forensic mechanical engineer Richard Schreiber, with Intertek AIM in Sunnyvale, Calif., said it’s usually immediately evident whether a blast was caused by natural gas.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014