[UPDATE] Fatal Cairo Gas Explosion

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

(LAST UPDATED ON 9/29 at 1:28 PM)

Authorities continue to investigate what caused yesterday's 9/28/10 fatal explosion in Grady County.

City of Cairo officials say gas worker Wendell Harrison was killed in the blast and the gas crew's supervisor, Peter Garland, was badly burned on his arms.

Authorities say the workers were manually replacing pipes when something ignited the gas in the area, causing the explosion.
2 special investigators arrived on scene a little after 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon.

They are working to determine what specifically caused the gas to ignite.

City officials say Garland was treated for his burns and released last night.

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(LAST UPDATED ON 9/28 at 10:05 PM)

The City of Cairo says the gas explosion was not caused by a piece of machinery striking the gas line.

Authorities say the gas crew was replacing pipes manually when something ignited gas present in the area, causing an explosion.

Wendell Harrison was killed in the explosion, and crew supervisor, Peter Garland, was badly burned on his arms. Two other crew members were treated for minor injuries and released.

A team of investigators arrived on scene shortly after 5PM to begin determining exactly what caused the gas to ignite.

We will keep you updated with the latest on this incident.
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(LAST UPDATED ON 9/28 at 6:02 PM)

Authorities have released the names of the victims in the Cairo gas explosion.

Wendell Harrison,one of the gas crew members, was killed in the accident, and Harrison's supervisor, Peter Garland, had his arms badly burned.

Two other members of the gas crew were treated for minor injuries and released.

Officials say a worker was using a piece of machinery to work on the road when he hit an active gas line, causing it to explode.

Authorities say an investigative team will be arriving from Atlanta in the coming days to look into the case further.

Stay tuned in for more updates on this story. ___________________________________

[UPDATE] (9-28 3:13PM) --

Cairo city officials say an extensive investigation is planned, and that investigators from Atlanta will assist. Eyewitness News reports that the entire blast site has been taped off in red. Officials at the Grady County Sheriff's Office has not released any other information at this time.

Cairo, Georgia --

A fatal gas explosion has been reported in Cairo, Georgia. Authorities say one person was killed, on person received bad burns, and two others had minor injuries. Authorities say the accident occurred when a man on a backhoe was digging and hit an underground gas line. A crew of workers for the City of Cairo Utilities were injured in the explosion. The accident occurred at 4th Avenue NW and 4th Street NW.

Authorities have not said anymore at this time and would not release any names. Stay with WCTV for details.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Steve Location: cairo on Sep 30, 2010 at 06:54 PM
    My Prays go out to each and everyone that has been affected by this tragedy. I know that this was a freak accident, But, I pray that the city will start using osha's Lock Out/Tag Out precedures. This will lessen the chance of this happening again.
  • by Grace on Sep 30, 2010 at 12:40 PM
    To everyone who is (justifiably) so upset by the Call Before You Dig remark...he or she is a coward who won't even identify him/herself. It's easy to make stupid and cruel remarks when you don't have to back them up. I would guess this is someone who has nothing else going on in life and thus has plenty of time to sit around and scan stories and make idiotic comments. I'm appalled every time I read news on this site at the ignorant and heartless comments people will post, even in the face of tragedy. Hopefully he or she will never have to deal with anything like this.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 30, 2010 at 05:15 AM
    I am sorry for the families loss. Does anyone know how much pressure was on the gas line in question??
  • by Cindy Location: Whigham on Sep 29, 2010 at 04:23 PM
    Wendell was a very loving person he would give you the shirt off of his back he was always smiling and Pete is a very great guy to he will do anything for u also and to the other guys God will be with you all if you just pray it was a great loss and i hope and pray all the other guy involved a speedy recoverey
  • by SHARON Location: CAIRO,GA on Sep 29, 2010 at 10:04 AM
    TO THE CALL B4 U DIG PERSON..HOW DARE U SIT THERE AND DISRESPEST THOSE GUYS..AND YOU SHOULD BE GREATFUL THAT WE HAVE PEOPLE LIKE THAT IN CAIRO..PEOPLE THAT ARE WILLING TO RISK THEIR LIVES FOR OTHERS WHOM THEY DONT EVEN KNOW..AS I SAID EARLIER WENDELL WAS A VERY COURAGEOUS GUY..AND HE SURELY DIDNT ASK FOR ANY OF THIS AND NEITHER DID PETE,JAY OR TONY..ALL OF U GUYS ARE HEROES IN MY BOOK AND I SERIOUSLY THINK THAT INSTEAD OF CALLING AN INJURED ONE INTO WORK AFTER THIS TRAGEDY THEY SHOULD BE CALLED IN TO BE RECONIZED..SHARON HINTON..
  • by sharon Location: cairo,ga on Sep 29, 2010 at 09:48 AM
    wendell was one of the most amzing people that ive ever met..if u didnt know him he was a great person..he was a very good friend of mine..i met him at worleys bbq..i was his and his dads waitress and the first day that i actually sat down and talked to him i knew right then that he was gonna end up being a very good friend to me..my heart goes out completely to wendell sr and the rest of the family..RIP LIL WENDELL...SHARON AND KEITH HINTON..
  • by susan Location: cairo on Sep 29, 2010 at 09:16 AM
    I have a question for Anonymous. If this was your child, cousin, brother or friend would you have made that comment??? Probably not....It was a tragic accident that claimed the life of a 35 year old. You need some serious PRAYER yourself!!
  • by mls Location: Tallahassee on Sep 29, 2010 at 08:45 AM
    My thoughts and prayers are with the Harrison family and all of the others that were injured.
  • by Danielle Dollar Location: Cairo on Sep 29, 2010 at 07:51 AM
    Wendell was my cousin he will be missed very much!
  • by Beth Location: Cairo, Ga on Sep 29, 2010 at 07:27 AM
    My prayers go out to the Harrison family. This was a tragic accident. My prayers also go out to Pete Garland and the other worker who was injured. Look to God for peace and comfort in this time of loss. Everybody is in my prayers.
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