How Safe is Natural Gas? Really.
During the PNGTS Extension project hearings, Gaz Metropolitain
placed a half-page ad in the June 6th edition of the
Montreal Gazette. The ad asked:
"How Safe is Natural Gas?"
Then the ad conveniently provided us with the answer
"Natural gas is very safe"
Just afterwards, on June 10th, a natural gas accident in Old Montreal
left three dead.
A Montreal Gazette article about the accident catalogued ten more
natural gas accidents in the Montreal area since 1965.
So, in thirty-three years: eleven accidents, fifty-six fatalities;
over seventy-five injuries; and hundreds left homeless. Just in Montreal.
Gaz Metropolitain spokesperson René Bolté confirmed that
Gaz Met experiences more than 500 gas leaks per year similar to the one
that caused the Old Montreal explosion.
Is Natural Gas "Very Safe?"
- June 10, 1998: Three killed and 17 injured when a gas worker cuts into a
gas line while installing a gas meter: explosion levels the Centre D'Acceuil
Bonneau in Old Montreal.
- Febuary 24, 1995: Twenty-five people were injured and hundreds forced to
leave their homes after a gas explosion blew out the front of a Provigo grocery
store on Herron Rd. in Dorval.
- Dec. 5, 1988: An 85-year-old man was killed and a 77-year-old woman
seriously injured when a gas line exploded at their Pierrefonds home.
- May 10, 1987: A man was killed when an explosion - believed to have been
caused by a natural-gas leak - rocked his mobile home on 57th St. in northeast
- Dec. 18, 1984: Five people died and others were injured when a gas
explosion leveled three residences and damaged at least 40 others on
Poincaré St. in Montreal's Ahuntsic neighborhood.
- May 26, 1983: A 70-year-old woman was killed when the Verdun building in
which she lived exploded. Fire inspectors said the blast, which left 15
families homeless, was was caused by a gas leak in the basement of the
- Jan. 19,1978: An elderly couple was killed when their Cote des Neiges
duplex exploded. Firefighters said the blast was caused by a natural-gas
- Feb. 19,1977., Three members of one family were killed after a gas leak in
the heating system of a Cote St. Paul house led to an explosion.
- April 11, 1974: A leaking gas pipe that was ruptured by shifting earth
caused an explosion that killed a 67-year-old woman in her house in north end
- Oct. 13,1966: A gas explosion at the Monsanto polystyrene plant on St.
Patrick St. in LaSalle killed 11 people and injured 10 others.
- March 1, 1965: an explosion ripped through a 24-unit apartment complex in
LaSalle. Twenty-eight people were killed, dozens were injured and hundreds of
families were left destitute and homeless. A public inquiry determined that the
explosion was caused by a leak in a 6 inch gas main behind the building on
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