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MichCon Employee Dies Trying to Seal Gas Leak on Moran Road

The 50-year-old man had worked for the gas company for 20 years. He was pronounced dead at the arrival to the emergency room.

A 50-year-old MichCon employee, Thomas Issac, died Tuesday afternoon while attempting to seal a hole in a gas line in the 400 block of Moran Road, according to Public Safety Department.

Officers closed Moran Road at the split with Madison Avenue for more than an hour and it remained blocked off by orange cones well after. The Farms Public Safety Department issued a written release about the investigation.

Employees from the gas company responded to a report of a gas leak in the area and dug a hole in front of one of the homes. Issac was in the hole attempting to attach a flow seal clamp to a hole in the gas line when it partially collapsed, according to the release.

His partner called 911 reporting to a dispatcher that Issac was unconscious in a hole and that a gas line had ruptured. Public Safety officers arrived on the scene within about a minute, pulled Issac from the hole, where gas was rapidly escaping, according to the release.

Paramedics treated him at the scene and during the ambulance drive to . He was pronounced dead upon arrival, according to the release.

Issac worked for the company for 20 years and no other injuries were reported as a result of the gas leak. Some residents and nearby businesses were evacuated temporarily while emergency crews assessed the situation.

The man's death is under investigation.

MichCon crews remain on the scene but there is no current danger to area residents, according to another release by the Farms Public Safety Department. The crews are continuing to do safety checks and are working to resolve the leak. While it is safe for residents to return to their homes, the roadway remains blocked and motorists are encouraged to find another route.

This story was updated Tuesday Oct. 4 about 9 p.m. to include additional information released by Grosse Pointe Farms.

Moran Resident GPF October 04, 2011 at 11:05 PM
The gas leak and rupture on Moran today was pretty serious, and it is tragic that a MichCon worker lost his life trying to fix the problem. Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and coworkers. As a resident of the 400 block of Moran, the events of today were distressing -- and continue to be distressing. Both because of the loss of life we witnessed -- and because of the absolute absence of information and instructions we received from the city about the crisis and its risks as they were unfolding. When two police vehicles pulled in front of our home just prior to the arrival of the ambulance and fire engine -- I came outside from concern. The police officer (suiting up with protective gear) told me sternly to return to my home and stay inside. I asked, "Fire?" The officer's response was, "No, it's a gas leak. Go inside immediately and stay there all day." After witnessing the ambulance leave the scene with the MichCon worker, some residents came out of their homes and spoke to police officers in the street. They, too, returned to their homes. At least two of these reside within one or two homes of the location of the gas leak. At NO TIME were we instructed to EVACUATE. (Why were businesses on Mack Ave evacuated, but not residents close to the leak?) When I saw a police vehicle prepare to leave the house next door, I asked the officer --"Is the leak fixed, are we safe?" He said, "No-- Big gas leak down the block. Go back inside and stay there." Part 1
Moran Resident GPF October 04, 2011 at 11:10 PM
Part 2 After 2 hours, I phoned the Farms city offices for further instructions (at this point the police and emergency vehicles had all departed, but the MichCon trucks and workers remained, and the smell of gas remained in the air outside). I asked for instructions and a status update. The city acknowledged the event, and transferred my call to the Farms police. The woman who took my call said, "Residents of Moran have been evacuated and it is not safe to return to your homes." I said, "No, I live on that block of Moran near the leak -- and we were NOT evacuated -- but instead were instructed by police to remain in our homes. I need to know what the status is and what further instructions there are." She said, "Oh- hold on- we have new information. Yes, we just received information that it is safe now. You may return to your homes." I said, "We were never evacuated. We remain in our home. The MichCon workers are still here on the block. It still smells like gas outside. But you are saying it is safe." She said,"We have been told it is safe to return to your homes. That is the information we have." Part 3 next
Moran Resident GPF October 04, 2011 at 11:10 PM
Part 3 MY POINT for the PATCH and GPF: The information and communication during and following this event was INADEQUATE for residents of Moran. We received NO communication at all -- unless we went outside and spoke to police officers assisting with the leak situation, who (understandably) did not want to be interrupted and should NOT HAVE TO BE interrupted. When we called the city/police -- we were given information that was INCONSISTENT with what we had experienced and were experiencing. This is distressing to say the least. It completely destroys confidence in the ability of the city and public safety offices to adequately handle even relatively minor crises in our community. This evening -- the MichCon trucks remain on Moran in the 400 block, still working. It is still not clear that the leak has been fixed. We still have no word from our city. We still do not know if the danger has passed. Where is our city administration? Surely there are some instructions that could be offered to us -- a simple update for the residents on the block, "You are now safe. We did not evacuate you because of a, b, c . . . MichCon workers are still there because of x, y, z even though the leak is fixed" -- or maybe simple instructions, like "if there is any remaining odor of gas in the outside air, please avoid lighting your barbecues." Or something??? Can you let us know if we are safe? or not? Please?
George Fowler October 05, 2011 at 12:46 AM
Probably will get kicked off patch as usual. GPF has serious issues. Now gas leaks. Now Michcon employee dies. Before flooding x3 this summer. I was born at "Cottage" hospital and have always lived in GP. It is so sad to see the City's demise.
Frank Koscielski October 05, 2011 at 02:30 PM
More importantly, why was this man working alone? Mich Con has blood on its hands. Sad.
Brian Vosburg October 05, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Frank, He wasn't working alone. The article says one man was in the whole and one was above ground, standard practice for underground work of this type. Now should Mich Con have had other safety gear in place for the underground worker? That's what will probably be the center of the investigation. Sad situation indeed, highlighting how dangerous underground construction work is.
Daniel Salden October 05, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Has ANYBODY been to a city council meeting lately? 10 or 12 at the last one. Brought up our agony over the recent flooding, and got a collective yawn. Waiving a $35.- plumbing inspection fee was considered substantial compensation by Councilman Theros... WHY DO WE LET THESE PEOPLE STAY THERE, AND PAY THEM TO BOOT?! Call Shane Reeside, or Mr. Farquart and prepare to be treated in a inconsequential fashion, let alone the "results" they will promise...these are your advocates for the wellbeing and safety of OUR community.

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