Venting Gas Causes Loud Commotion

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DICKSON CITY -- It was a very noisy morning in part of Lackawanna County. A relief valve at a natural gas compressor station in Dickson City opened and the sound of gas venting was deafening.

UGI says it's still trying to figure out why it happened.

The sound was deafening around 8 a.m. Monday, just off Main Street in Dickson City. It sounded like a jet engine a big one, a loud one.

UGI tells us a relief valve in a compressor station blew, just like it's supposed to if pressure builds in the system.

Suresh Patel was working at the Convenient Food Mart, just across Main Street.

"Too much noise, and nothing, not hearing anything too much."

Patel saw the police and the firefighters, and the gas company employees  plus that noise. He knew it was serious.

Dale Shaffer was pumping gas nearby.

"It just sounded like a cork popping and all of a sudden, you could hear the air and I walked over and you could see white smoke in the air."

But it wasn't smoke. It was natural gas, from a pressure relief valve on a 16-inch line, according to Dickson City's fire chief.

If anything, time was on their side when the valve blew. According to police and the emergency management agency, they didn't have to evacuate any businesses because they had yet to open for the day.

CVS did open a little late, and part of Main Street in Dickson City was closed for about 90 minutes.

The Lackawanna County Emergency Management Agency says the public was never in any danger.

"Luckily today there was a pretty still breeze, so it dissipated pretty quickly and it broke up to the point it wasn't any danger," said deputy EMA director Rich Barbolish.

Once the valve reset and the release stopped, it was back to normal in this part of Lackawanna County.

UGI says no one lost service, and no mains were shut down due to this morning's incident.


  • Sur

    Last time it happened they didn’t know where it was coming from this time it was blowing gas in the air. But this wasn’t harmful . Next time what’s the whole city going to blow up. I honestly feel this is a big concern and it needs to be corrected !

    • Dianne

      I disagree. I live across the street from this and the last time they DEFINITELY knew where it was coming from. There was absolutely no question about that. For UGI or anyone to say last time they didn’t know where it was coming from is a lie because they had a UGI man on the scene last time. I was there and saw the UGI truck myself as were many neighbors and theDickson Fire department.

  • Girl Wonder

    The high pressure alarm went off Sunday morning… it is supposed to trigger something at UGI and they were definitely notified. The fire department had to respond and everything. Corporate America just takes their time because they aren’t held accountable.

  • Ron

    Luzerne County: Get use to this kind of “disaster in waiting” as the fracking gas industry builds more and more huge gas pipelines, compressor stations and metering stations! Just take a look at all that METHANE gas being vented in to OUR clean air. As the number of gas fired electric generation stations proliferate in our area like the one to be built in Salem Township our are we become an “industrial zone” for the profit of the fracking gas industry!

  • Sue

    this is the second time this happened same area. As gas is shooting in the area don’t be concerned ! Someone needs to look into this!!!!

      • Dianne

        This happened a few months ago during the summer on a Sunday morning about 4:30-5:00 am so there was no coverage. I spoke to UGI this morning and asked why this happened AGAIN. No answer. I went outside and held the phone and asked her if she could hear that? What a joke! I literally called WNEP while this was going on and told the girl this is the SECOND time within a few months this exact same compressor blew and she said she would tell the “investigative reporter”. Well, he obviously did NOT do any kind of investigating when he talked to UGI. This is a disaster waiting to happen. I live across the street from this and last time it literally woke the neighbors up because the sound is deafening and we were all out that early in the morning and the Dicksonfire department was there. When a UGI truck finally showed up there was ONE guy. This time because of the time of day and what day it was more people were on the scene. Someone needs to ask more questions of UGI…WNEP INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS!! If this thing malfunctions and blows, it will take out Dickson City, Olyphant and Blakely in no time at all!

  • Sue

    this is the second time this has happened , there is a serious problem there. Don’t worry folks while gas is shooting in the air there is no harm . Are u serious ….. Someone needs to look into this problem !

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