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Mayor Menino Bans Construction Firm From Boston

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A home on the corner of Danny and Reynold Roads in Hyde Park. (credit: Rich Lombardi)

A home on the corner of Danny and Reynold Roads in Hyde Park. (credit: Rich Lombardi)

BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Mayor Tom Menino has banned DeFelice Corporation from doing any work in the city until the completion of an investigation into a house explosion on Wednesday in Hyde Park.

DeFelice Corporation was doing work for the Boston Water and Sewer on pipes in the neighborhood and hit a gas line.

The break sent gas into a home and sparked a blast.

One home was destroyed and several others were damaged. No one was hurt.

It happened at the corner of Danny and Reynold Roads in the Readville section of Hyde Park, not far from the Mayor’s house.

Ordinarily a dig site is well marked before digging starts, precisely so that contractors will not accidentally hit and rupture gas or other sensitive lines underground.

Dig Safe confirms it was notified of work on Reynold Road from Chesterfield to Como, and NSTAR tells WBZ-TV that Reynold Road was marked for gas lines. But the hole dug by the contractor, DeFelice Corporation, runs from Reynold Road into Danny Road.

NSTAR says it did not mark Danny Road because Dig Safe was only contacted about work affecting Reynold Road.

DeFelice issued a statement Thursday saying, “DeFelice Corporation contacted Dig Safe prior to commencing excavation activities. DeFelice Corporation complied with its obligations and relied upon the established process to identify underground utilities in the area.”

Dig Safe law requires utilities to mark the location of their lines within 15 feet, in any direction of a pre-marked work area.

NSTAR contends there is no such safety zones when it comes to an entire street project like this, so Danny Road would not have been marked at the intersection.

WBZ-TV has learned the DeFelice Corporation has been cited three times for dig safe violations since 2005 at work sites in Arlington, North Adams and Haverhill. All three were dismissed because the contractor had valid Dig Safe documents.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the state’s Public Utilities Commission is now investigating the explosion.

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