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Criminal charges announced in PA natural gas explosion that leveled home, injured 3

State authorities have announced charges against a company over a natural gas explosion that leveled a house and injured a western Pennsylvania family five years ago.

Attorney General Michelle Henry said Wednesday that the criminal complaint alleges methane gas in an underground storage reservoir owned and operated by Equitrans L.P. migrated upward into a deteriorating company storage well and eventually reached the Greene County home, leading to the blast.

Natural gas storage fields such as Equitrans’ Pratt field allow companies to store gas underground and to extract it during periods of high demand, such as the winter months. But Henry said the company had long acknowledged in federal filings “that the Pratt field was losing gas and that wells within the field were likely leaking.”

“Had Equitrans done their due diligence and noticed the signs of a gas leak, they may have been able to stop the leak before this catastrophe,” Henry said. Equitrans was charged with prohibition against discharge of industrial waste, prohibition against other pollutions and two counts of unlawful conduct under the clean streams law, officials said.

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