The gas provider Transgaz and the motorway builder share the blame in the deadly explosion on A7 highway. Four workers died and other five are injured.
A preliminary report by Transgaz claims that the construction company hastened and dug at the construction site, as a result of which the main was half-deep in the area of the explosion.
The second option is that the pipeline was cracked and gave way under the weight of the machines. The Tranzgaz spokesperson explained that the highway builder, UMB Spedition, should have waited for the pipeline to be moved before starting work in that area, Digi24 reports.
Following the measurements made after the explosion by Transgaz employees, it was found that the gas main was in the area of the explosion, where the workers were working on the highway, at a depth of 0.6-1 meter, a depth lower than that recorded on the rest of the length of the pipeline. Tranzgaz says that, in fact, the builder would have already made excavations in that area, which is the reason why the pipeline was at a shallower depth.
“Upstream and downstream measurements showed that the burial values, the depth at which the pipeline was, complied with the legal provisions. According to the notice that Transgaz sent to CNAIR in 2021, it was clearly foreseen that no construction work of any kind can be done on a distance of 20 meters to the left and to the right of the pipeline until the technical project for the relocation of the pipeline is approved by Transgaz and the actual road construction works can only be done after the pipeline is moved. The notice we are talking about was not issued, which means that on a distance of 20 meters from left to right there were no works to be carried out. All pipelines are recorded in a computerized record keeping system with coordinates. These are sent to the County Councils who pass them on to the local authorities. (…) There is no logical hypothesis in which someone could say we didn’t know where the pipeline was or at what depth. Pipelines are not zombies that rise up from the ground by themselves and haunt the field. It can be seen from the images that there is a difference in height between the place where the deflagration happened and the land slightly to the left or right. It can be seen with the vacant place that that land has been uncovered. If we are now trying to feed the idea that these pipes are old, it was rehabilitated in 2018. What was the machine doing there if it wasn’t supposed to be there? The relocation project is done, the pipeline is actually relocated, then the highway is built. Until the pipeline is moved, the highway cannot be built. The pipe was not moved, what was the machine looking for? I’m not blaming anyone, I’m explaining what is provided for in the location notice that Transgaz issued in 2021,” said Alexandru Macoveiciuc, Transgaz spokesperson.