An open letter to the people of Springfield:
On Friday, November 23rd, a combination of unfortunate circumstances produced an incident in downtown Springfield. Fortunately, no lives were lost in the explosion on Worthington Street. There were, however, some serious injuries and much hardship to a great many people as a result of the blast. It will take time for the injuries to firefighters, police, the Springfield Water & Sewer Commission worker, Columbia Gas employees and to members of the community to heal. And, it will take time for the displaced neighborhood residents and businesses to resume a normal life again. To this end, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is dedicated to providing prompt, efficient and fair response to everyone affected by the incident.
I also want to recognize the bravery and valiant actions of the employees of the Springfield Fire Department, Police Department, and Water & Sewer Commission, and publicly thank them for their professionalism and heroic actions throughout the entire incident. The tireless efforts of the emergency management personnel coordinating activities, and the Department of Public Works managing the clean-up played key roles at the scene for days. The City of Springfield employees deserve a sincere thank you.
The support, understanding and great leadership provided by Mayor Domenic J. Sarno on the scene, and in the days afterward, has greatly facilitated the recovery process. The citizens of Springfield should be proud of their city.
I also publicly thank our employees for their professionalism, bravery and compassion. Once the technician realized he accidentally punctured the gas service line, he immediately re-entered the building and took steps to evacuate the occupants. His actions were a large reason no lives were lost. The gas crew that also responded to the scene worked directly in front of the building to shut down the gas service. I don’t know when I’ve ever been more proud of our employees.
The explosion on Worthington Street was the result of an unfortunate set of circumstances that would be difficult to replicate, and as our history of safety over the last 165 years has shown, an extremely rare occurrence. Natural gas is safe, clean and efficient. And the natural gas delivery system in Springfield is safe, secure, and in good hands.
Stephen H. Bryant
President, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
Claims Hotline Remains Open
We continue to work toward helping the residents, business owners and community impacted by the explosion in Springfield. We believe that most individuals have been in contact with our Claims Center and are in the process of being helped. As a result, the Claims Center will now resume its normal business hours of operations from 8 a.m - 5 p.m. Should you have further questions or need further attention please call 1-800-451-4527. Calls placed beyond the normal business hours will be returned the next business day.