November 10, 2015

A dodgy diversion around the gas meter - 2015
THE owner of two posh seaside restaurants has been jailed after stealing nearly £150,000 worth of gas - over 20 years.  Martin Billingsley, 61, got away with helping himself to the gas which he used to run his popular establishments. But justice finally caught up with Billingsley and he appeared in court to plead guilty to repeatedly tampering with gas pipes to bypass meters - risking an explosion and endangering lives. Read More: Cornish restaurant owner jailed after stealing gas for more than 20 years by Plymouth Herald November 11, 2015

Bootleg hookups - 2015
NYC blast probe highlights problem of stealing gas
It was a run-of-the-mill complaint - a smell of gas - with a troubling explanation: Someone had improperly tapped into a Manhattan building's gas line, and it was leaking.

Bootleg hookups -1937 New London, TX 

To save money the school board substituted a gas system for the steam system. They had ignored the architects' warnings that the building had not been designed to vent gas fumes. Then, the school board decided to hook-up to a free residue gas line while school and oil company officials agreed to look the other way.

Even though the gas had no odor, there were reports that students had headaches and burning eyes from gas fumes in their classrooms. One account describes students sitting in a classroom with jackets on and windows open to vent the fumes.

On March 18, thirteen minutes before school dismissal, a shop teacher flipped a switch to turn on a power sander and a spark set off a gas explosion killing more than 300 students, teachers and visitors.

The official Court of Inquiry acknowledged a series of design, building and operations problems, and unheeded warnings, yet named no one responsible. They concluded that school officials were just "average individuals, ignorant or indifferent to the need for precautionary measures, where they cannot, in their lack of knowledge, visualize a danger or a hazard." (Court of Inquiry, 1937.)

The disaster resulted in a law that required adding a warning odor to natural gas, thus saving millions of lives all over the world.