Utility: Weight of Fill Material Caused Gas Pipeline Fire

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ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan utility says the weight of 21 feet of fill material was responsible for a November gas line rupture and massive fire in Oakland County’s Orion Township.

Jackson-based Consumers Energy says Monday in a statement that the weight of the material “stressed the pipeline and caused it to sag due to the compressibility of the supporting organic soil layer.”

The utility says the material was added by a third party.

The fire started Nov. 20 on vacant land about 30 miles north of Detroit. The blaze eventually burned itself out. No injuries were reported.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the office’s phone lines, including 911, were down as a result of the fire.

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