Scottsburg gas rupture training

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- Anywhere and anytime you dig, you need to call 811 first. Safety officials say if you don't call the number, it can lead to an explosion and devastating consequences.

During a live drill on a punctured gas pipeline in Scottsburg on Wednesday, a construction worker struck a natural gas pipeline. The mock gas was released in the air, and in real life, it could be fatal for workers on site.

“Eventually, he's going to go down with a respiratory situation here,” Enertech trainer Rick Lemons said as he described the scene.

First responders were also part of the drill, as well as utility and gas companies.

In this scenario, the workers did not call 811 before digging to see if any underground lines were present. During the safety awareness and training session, it was reiterated what you should do if you want to dig.

“You mark it with white paint, you call the 811 call center, they send out the contract locator, we located a pipeline, marked it and realized there was an issue, so we we're going to have to modify our dig plan,” Lemons said.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and Enertech say homeowners and contractors often times don’t call 811, because they think it takes too much time.

“There's a lot of potential for a devastating explosion there,” Lemons said when people hit a line while digging.

Even if you don't think you've damaged a line you’ve hit, there can be an invisible danger.

“You may pull it loose from a connection that's going up into the house while the line sits there seeping natural gas or whatever into the house until the homeowner gets home and turns the light on, and we have an ignition ... boom,” Lemons said.

The call is free. Callers just have to give workers two days to make sure the location where they want to dig is safe.

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