The State Fire Marshal’s draft about the M’s Pub explosion says the gas lines outside the Mercer building were not properly marked.
In a report from January 20th 2016, the conclusion from the investigator says, "the service line was not marked!"
In June a letter sent by the fire marshals to Metropolitan Utilities District, they say the utility violated safety regulations.
“Just a bad situation all the way around, and I know someone has to held accountable, but something went wrong, really bad,” said Adele Hansen who works right across from M's Pub at All About Me Boutique.
She said the report shows that clearly someone messed up, “just hearing for the last eight months, oh no it's their fault, oh no it's theirs, well no body wants to take the blame, I understand that, but somebody has to take it, somebody screwed up big time.”
In the fire marshal's report, investigators revisited the scene several times, and spoke with the MUD employee who marked the lines in front of M’s in 2015.
The report says there are two gas points around around the Mercer building.
The MUD employee used a mapping system to find the lines and only marked one. The second one that runs under the building was "not on the mapping system" and “the excavator was left to determine if there was a service line."
MUD said in a statement they did properly mark all the line and the fire was a result of the drilling company (see full statement below.)
North central services, who hit the gas line, said "we don't' feel the markings were done correctly."
Hansen said she feels it will take forever to figure out who will take the blame for the blast.
“I do think this area needs that closure,” but she in confident that no matter what-the mercer building will be back “it may not be what it was originally but it will come back and it will be better than ever, it really will.”
North Central did not get back for KMTV for a comment.
The fire marshal’s office is still investigation and it is unclear when they will have their final report done.
Full MUD Statement:
The Metropolitan Utilities District ("District") is aware of the June 23, 2016 letter from the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's ("SFM") Office. The District has discussed the letter with the SFM.
The SFM has told the District that it does not need to respond to the letter pending the SFM conducting further investigation. To date, the District has not heard further from the SFM.
Given the SFM's continued investigation, it would be premature to draw any conclusions. The District has consistently maintained, and will continue to maintain, the District properly responded to all Nebraska811 requests, the District properly marked all utilities in front of 422 South 11th Street, and the fire's cause is a direct result of the horizontal drilling company's failure to follow routine and standard procedures for identifying the position of underground utility lines prior to commencing operations.
This position is consistent with the conclusions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in its citation issued to the horizontal drilling company.