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.
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.
One experts likened shutoff valves to the brakes on a car.
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.
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.
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.