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Injured Tulsa fireman in gas explosion identified as 18-year captain

TPD: Gas line rupture leads to grass fire
TPD: Gas line rupture leads to grass fire
Posted at 3:41 PM, Jun 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 14:36:59-04
TULSA -- The Tulsa Fire Department has identified one of the five people seriously injured in a natural gas leak explosion in west Tulsa on Thursday as an 18-year veteran of firefighting.
TFD said Captain Greg Delozier and four employees of ONG were injured Thursday while on the scene of a natural gas leak when the leaking gas ignited about 3:45 p.m. EMSA said five people were transported to Hillcrest Medical Center in serious condition.

TFD Capt. Stan May said late Thursday night that Capt. Delozier, 54, is close to his 20-year chip in the department, and is recuperating from his injuries from the explosion.  Capt. Delozier is stable and has been moved from the ER to a room, May reported. His injuries will be further evaluated Friday morning and he will begin a course of treatment based on that updated evaluation.
A gas explosion in West Tulsa kept crews and neighbors on edge for hours Thursday evening, and sent five people to the hospital.
At least 50 customers in the area did not have ONG service for hours, and some tell 2 Works for You gas lines have been hit multiple times along West 56th Street just in the last few months.

ONG says the damaged lines have been repaired and they are re-establishing service to those who lost service.

"Our thoughts continue to be with our employees as they recover," ONG said in a statement. "Out of respect for the privacy of our employees and their families, we do not provide information related to our employees' health conditions. Safety is our number one value, and Oklahoma Natural Gas is committed to promoting a safe environment for employees. When accidents occur, they are felt profoundly by all of us. We are committed to supporting all of those impacted."

"Changing winds, humidity varies... a lot of variables can cause that gas to go in different directions. We're not sure what happened yet," Capt. May said.

TFD is working to determine why he was close enough to the incident to be injured at all.

"The firefighter caught the worst of it. The other four are in a lot better shape than he is," May said.

Crews assisted ONG after the initial leak when an explosion sent flames about 20 feet into the air. Neighbors said they've seen close calls like this multiple times in the last six months.

"It's like the fourth time that they've hit... isn't it like the third or fourth time? They've hit a gas line on stuff over here," Krystal Fruge said.

Tulsa Fire said the Housing Authority was digging with a backhoe which caused the initial leak as they worked to put security cameras in the neighborhood. 

"(Children) were scared because they could hear the gas people saying that they didn't have it under control, they could just hear everything that was going on. There were so many radios they were just listening to everything," Fruge said.

The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa sent out a statement late Thursday night, saying, "We would like to clarify a few misreported details regarding the gas leak, and subsequent fire...It has been reported that THA employees placed the gas line flags at the construction site where the incident took place, when in fact it was OKIE that mapped and flagged the site - in compliance with City regulatory practices.

"Additionally, it was reported that a THA work crew struck the gas line when in actuality it was a third-party contractor hired to install surveillance cameras that struck the unflagged gas line.
THA will continue to cooperate with the investigation into today's accident and would like extend our heartfelt concerns to the families of the utility workers and firefighters who were injured."

ONG slowly shut off gas throughout the evening, and said the neighborhood is no longer at risk.

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