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Carbon County gas blast: Burned man remains in critical condition

Published November 26, 2012 5:05 pm

Carbon County • Pressure spike in weakened pipeline blamed for explosion.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Carbon County man remained in critical condition Monday, nearly a week after he and a co-worker were burned in a natural gas explosion.

A spokeswoman for the University of Utah Intermountain Burn Center said Larry Lee Joseph, believed to be in his 60s, was still in the facility's Intensive Care Unit. A second man hurt in the blast, Doug Jenkins, in his 20s, had been discharged as of Monday.

Meanwhile, Troy Mills, deputy fire marshal for central Utah, has blamed the explosion and subsequent fire on a spike of pressure in a damaged natural gas pipeline feeding the Dry Canyon Compressor Station, 30 miles northeast of Price in Nine Mile Canyon.

Mills found that someone had used a backhoe to reach a pipe about 6 feet below ground, and the teeth of the backhoe had scored the top of the pipe and weakened it. That pipe exploded when a pressure spike traveled through it on Nov. 20, creating a crater 15-feet deep and 30-feet wide.

The freed, surging gas connected with an ignition source and sent the station up in flames, Mills said.

remims@sltrib.com