"Beneath Cities, a Decaying Tangle of Gas Pipes"

"It is a danger hidden beneath the streets of New York City, unseen and rarely noticed: 6,302 miles of pipes transporting natural gas.

Leaks, like the one that is believed to have led to the explosion that killed eight people in East Harlem this month, are startlingly common, numbering in the thousands every year, federal records show.

Consolidated Edison, whose pipes supplied the two buildings leveled by the explosion, had the highest rate of leaks in the country among natural gas operators whose networks totaled at least 100 miles, according to a New York Times analysis of records collected by the federal Department of Transportation for 2012, the most recent year data was available.

The chief culprit, according to experts, is the perilous state of New York City’s underground network, one of the oldest in the country and a glaring example of America’s crumbling infrastructure."

Patrick McGeehan, Russ Buettner and David W. Chenmarch report for the New York Times March 23, 2014.

Source: NY Times, 03/24/2014