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The Madera Tribune

PG&E VP: Call 811 before ‘dig-ins’

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webmaster | 04/25/13

Pacific Gas and Electric’s new executive vice president of gas operations, Nick Stavropoulos, came to Madera to remind people to call 811 before digging. That’s because banging a plow, or a shovel, or a bulldozer or a backhoe into a gas line can cause a catastrophe.

At a news conference Tuesday at the County Government Center, Stavropoulos, other gas company employees and local officials stressed how vulnerable Madera County seemed to be to accidental “dig-ins,” as such accidents are called.

In a 2003 incident, a man plowing a field near the Pilot Truck Stop on Avenue 18-1/2 struck an underground gas main, and the ensuing explosion blew him off his tractor. He later died of his injuries.

And just last year, a worker clearing brush from a stream with a backhoe hit a gas line off Avenue 12. Although there was no fire, escaping gas permeated the countryside, tying up traffic on State Route 99 and other nearby roads...


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