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Utility commission recommends Columbia Gas be fined $400,000 in Ohio house explosion


UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio — Ohio's utility regulator is recommending that Columbia Gas be fined $400,000 for a gas explosion that destroyed a suburban Columbus house and damaged others nearby.

A report released on Friday by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio recommends the gas company be fined for leaving an abandoned and mismarked gas line connected to the main line. A city water company employee thought it was a water line and turned on the gas, which filled the unoccupied house in Upper Arlington.

The March 21 blast leveled the house and made others around it uninhabitable.

The Columbus Dispatch ( ) reports that Columbia officials had contended that they never received an order to disconnect the line decades ago.

The recommendation will be forwarded to PUCO commissioners.

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch,

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