Vectren fined $100,000 over New Albany gas explosion

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State utility officials have ordered Vectren Corp. to pay a $100,000 fine and make safety improvements over a natural gas explosion last year that destroyed a southern Indiana home and injured six people.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission issued the order Wednesday after the agency's review of actions leading up to the November 2011 explosion in New Albany. The agency found that crews for a subsidiary of Evansville-based Vectren Corp. damaged the gas line while doing drilling work.

The report also found that although employees smelled gas at around 3:15 pm, they failed to follow proper emergency procedures and didn't alert emergency crews until 4:20 pm, after the explosion occurred.

Vectren spokeswoman Chase Kelley tells the Evansville Courier & Press that the company takes full responsibility for the explosion and has made safety changes.

Only one of those hurt in the explosion needed overnight hospitalization.

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