New theory for Belgian gas blast
30 August 2004
BRUSSELS – A highway maintenance vehicle may have caused the fatal gas blast in the Belgian town of Ghislenghien, it emerged on Monday.
The death toll from the 30 July blast rose to 22 on Monday after a teenager died from injuries sustained in the explosion.
The investigation into the tragedy is now focussing on the theory that the vehicle, which was levelling the ground at the industrial site, could have damaged the gas pipe that exploded and caused the tragedy.
According to public service broadcaster RTBF, machines used in this type of work can leave the circular type of marks that were found on a section of the pipe the day after the tragedy.
The machinery breaks up the ground with rotating blades that turn at a depth of 40 to 50 centimetres.
The part of the pipe that was recovered had been running below a road.
Although the theory remains to be proven, it has been declared plausible by Fluxys, the company managing Belgium’s underground gas network.
Legal experts are now looking into the matter further.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news