Report Finds Cause Of Norfolk Fatal Condo Explosion

By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — State fire investigators has found that a fatal condominium explosion last July was not the result of the delivery of odorless propane gas from a Westfield distributor, as initially thought.

The report from Fire Marshal Stephen Coan’s office into the Norfolk, Mass. explosion instead pointed to another possible cause — a phenomenon known as “odorant fade.”

That can occur when the chemical that gives propane its distinctive “rotten eggs” smell fades over time. Odorant fade can occur in new tanks or tanks that have run dry and are only partially filled.

The 1,000 gallon tank at the condominium construction site only had 200 gallons of propane in it.

The gas explosion killed one worker and injured three others. Workers said they did not smell a gas leak at the time.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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