Investigators Say Post That Severed Propane Line Led To Farmington Explosion

Jan 24, 2020

Investigators say the severing of an underground propane gas line during the installation of a protective metal post, known as a Techno Post, led to the Farmington explosion last September that killed one firefighter and injured several others.

The state Fire Marshall's office says the post was one of several being drilled into the ground near the LEAP building to protect an outside air conditioning unit.

“During the installation process, one of those Techno Posts actually breached the LP gas line that was the supply line between the 500 gallon tank at the back of the parking lot, and where the gas actually went into the building.”

State Fire Marshall Joe Thomas says that, although investigators have pinpointed what caused damage to the gas line, the source of ignition that sparked the explosion cannot be determined.

“It could have been a number of sources, anything from a light switch being turned on or off, the furnace coming on, somebody walking across the rug and creating static electricity.”

The installation of the posts took place on Tuesday, September 10. Thomas says the explosion occurred six days later, just days after the tank was found to be empty and was filled to capacity.

Fire investigators say no criminal charges are anticipated.