Richmond has same type of gas pipes eyed in deadly NY explosion

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) — Many people remain shocked at the apparent gas leak in New York that has killed at least seven and injured more than 60.

The disaster is raising concerns about the nation’s aging infrastructure, especially since the pipes believed to have caused the leak were cast iron.

According to Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities, nearly half of the city’s gas pipes remain cast iron in nature.

The city is about half way through a restoration project to convert cast iron pipes to more durable, plastic-like pipes.

However, Public Utilities Spokesperson Angela Fountain says residents should not be concerned.

“We have not had a gas leak explosion in over 60 years,” Fountain said. “There may be some cast iron pipes a hundred years old, but that doesn’t mean it is not durable or that it has failed.”

The city reminds residents to call 911 if they smell “rotten eggs,” which is the type of smell a gas leak releases, and crews should arrive within 30 minutes.

There is currently a PSA program going on reminding residents to check for gas locations before any digging takes place.

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