New York - Catastrophic gas blast risk at Brooklyn's Sunset Park Bus Depot : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Thursday, January 13, 2000


By CARL CAMPANILE Everyone wants more clean-burning, natural-gas buses on the streets, but the Transit Authority has learned they come with potentially explosive problems.

Gas leaks and other foul-ups pose a safety hazard at the TA's only fueling depot that uses compressed natural gas, according to a report commissioned by the agency.

The depot, at the Jackie Gleason garage in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn, was installed last year and is operated by Brooklyn Union Gas.

"The single largest type of problem ... is the occurrence of many and ongoing leaks ...," according to the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

The TA temporarily shut down the depot last fall after two equipment-related explosions. The gas never ignited, and the facility was reopened Dec. 20.

The report also found a "lack of documentation" of the mishaps, described by a Transport Workers Union official as a cover-up.

"Why do we have a substandard station there? Why compromise New York City when there are safe natural-gas bus facilities across the world?" asked John Caputo, the TWU's safety director.

The report, prepared for the TA by Fuel Solutions of California, states that misaligned gas pipes could rupture, and -- in a worst case scenario -- cause a "catastrophic" explosion .

TA spokesman Al O'Leary said Brooklyn Union Gas has been "very responsible" in tackling the safety issues raised in the report.

Source: New York Post

-- Lee Maloney (, March 16, 2000

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