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Company fined $4,900 for Portland natural gas blast


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon safety officials have fined a company nearly $5,000 for its role in a Portland natural gas explosion that caused an estimated $17 million in damages and seriously injured a firefighter.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports ( the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division faulted Loy Clark Pipeline Co. for digging on the north side of a street near where the October explosion took place after notifying authorities it intended to dig on the south side.

Loy Clark spokeswoman Andrea Fonkert says the Tualatin-based company is reviewing the citation.

The Oct. 19 error caused a NW Natural gas pipeline to become disengaged, which led to explosions that destroyed a building and damaged several others.

Several people were injured, including a firefighter who underwent surgery for a broken leg.

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