Facebook Twitter

Gas line ignites, injuring pipe worker

SHARE Gas line ignites, injuring pipe worker

A plumbing company employee suffered burns to his arm when gas escaping from a broken pipe burst into flames.

Per Lindgaard was apparently digging in the yard at Roto-Rooter, 729 W. 1390 South, and struck the line, causing gas to escape, Salt Lake City Fire administrative assistant to the chief Denny McKone said. Investigators had not determined Wednesday afternoon how the gas was ignited, McKone added.

Firefighters do not extinguish gas fires but instead let those fires burn until the gas can be shut off, McKone said.

"That way we have control over it," he said, adding that a firefighter's first priority is to keep everything else around the burning gas line from also catching on fire.

Salt Lake fire crews monitored the fire, which started just before noon, for about 55 minutes, while Questar Gas crews dug up the nearby pavement and sealed off the line, McKone said.

The worker was transported by ambulance to the University of Utah Medical Center's burn unit for treatment. His injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Lindgaard has worked for the company as a technician for four years, according to a statement by Roto-Rooter.

The company will work with the gas company, the fire department and OSHA.