Questions remain after driver-caused Melvindale gas line explosion

- A massive gas explosion wipes out a DTE facility as the blast rocked Melvindale on Saturday after a driver made a wrong turn, plowed through a fence and hit a gas line.

Now DTE is trying to clean up the site and rebuild what was lost in the inferno.

Crews clean up the massive mess - the aftermath of an explosion in Melvindale that occurred early Saturday morning at a DTE facility plant when a driver hit a gas main.

Police say he had been drinking prior to the crash. One of the buildings at the site was completely gutted.

"The 140 employees who work at that facility, about 40 of them have been moved to other buildings throughout southeast Michigan," said Scott Simons, DTE spokesperson.

While DTE is not putting a dollar figure on the damage, major repairs are needed.

Charges are pending against the driver as police are waiting for results from his blood alcohol test. Meanwhile he is still recovering in an area hospital.

The questions on so many minds were how the driver was able to plow through a chain-link fence - and is that fence enough of a barrier?

"The facility has been operating safely for 73 years," Simons said. "And one of the things that we're doing in our after action review is looking at whether our barriers that protect the facility are sufficient.

"Despite it being such a spectacular explosion, there was only one injury and that was the driver who crashed through our fence."
 

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