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PA Gas Utility Connected To Fatal Explosion: Replacing Aging Pipelines Could Take 40 Years

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ALLENTOWN PA GAS EXPLOSION
AP

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The natural gas utility connected to a fatal explosion last month in Pennsylvania says it could take 40 years to replace all its aging, cast-iron pipelines.

UGI Corp. Vice President Robert Beard told a state Senate panel on Tuesday that, at its current pace, the utility would need four decades to replace the old pipes, some of which are a century old.

Beard called the timeline "reasonable" but said the investigation into the February blast could accelerate the utility's efforts.

The explosion and fire rocked an Allentown neighborhood and killed five people, including an elderly couple and a 4-month-old boy.

Officials suspect a cracked piece of cast-iron pipe is to blame for the blast. Beard says that pipe was not a candidate for "accelerated replacement."

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