Consumers Energy report says workers left scene of deadly Royal Oak blast after smelling gas

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - A timeline included in a newly released report by Consumers Energy reveals that company workers smelled gas and left the scene minutes before the fatal explosion in Royal Oak.

The timeline of events is included in an interim report from Consumers Energy to the Michigan Public Service Commission.

It says that Consumers had three crews working in the area of the Cooper Avenue explosion for most of February 27, the day of the blast. The crews included two support crews and a boring crew.

In all, 7 workers were on site for most of the day.

According to the timeline, members of the crew reported smelling natural gas at around 4:30 p.m. Crew leaders then checked for gas levels and knocked on the door of the home that was destroyed in the explosion. However, no one answered.

At 4:57 p.m., the leader of one of the crews called Consumers Energy dispatch to report a gas leak and a service worker was dispatched to the site. That worker would not arrive on scene until almost 20 minutes after the blast.

However, according to the timeline, after calling in the report the boring and support crews left the scene by 5:03 p.m.

The blast occurred four minutes later, blowing the Cooper Street home to pieces.

Fifty-eight-year-old Daniel Richard Malczynski and a cat died in the explosion.

Thirty-five other homes were damaged. Their owners were displaced and forced to live in hotels or with relatives until their homes could be checked for damage and repaired.

 Several businesses were also damaged in the blast.

Consumers reported in March that several workers had been fired because of the incident. However, they would not elaborate on how many were fired. Consumers Energy also declined to say what the terminated workers had been doing on the day of the explosion.

Print this article Back to Top