natural gas explosion en Blasts raise questions about pipeline safety <p>Questions are being raised about the role of emergency shutoff valves in preventing natural gas explosions like the recent one at a Kansas City restaurant.</p><p>Regulations require their installation, but not their use in emergencies. Instead of shutting valves before a February blast leveled JJ's restaurant and killed a server, crews waited for a backhoe to arrive in a failed attempt to vent the leak.</p><p>One experts likened shutoff valves to the brakes on a car.</p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 14:22:37 +0000 Associated Press 31654 at Family, Mo. utility settle over fatal blast <p>Survivors of an elderly Columbia couple who died in a natural gas explosion four years ago have settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Ameren Missouri.</p><p>The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Boone County court officials were told of the settlement Monday, one day before the case was to go to trial.</p><p>The blast in March 2008 destroyed the home of 87-year-old Carl Sneed and his 85-year-old wife, Merna. Both were retired professors at the University of Missouri. Carl Sneed taught mechanical engineering; his wife taught home economics.</p> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 14:10:47 +0000 Associated Press 20925 at