Royal Oak explosion leads to Consumers Energy policy changes

Consumers Energy suspends all state boring projects


ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Consumers Energy announced Thursday it has suspended all boring projects throughout the state following the Feb. 27 gas explosion in Royal Oak.

"The safety of our community, customers and employees remains our top priority, and our thoughts continue to be with the deceased victim's family and friends.  As we implement our comprehensive safety program in the affected Royal Oak community, our experts are standing ready 24/7 responding to questions and concerns from the community."

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Royal Oak home explosion

In addition to the boring suspensions Consumers Energy said it has taken the following steps:

  • Performed extensive gas safety testing in the area as residents returned to their homes on Friday and Saturday.
  • Employees tested for the presence of gas in and around homes, made sure appliances were relit and operating, and pressure-tested the customer-owned fuel lines of each home to help allay residents' concerns.
  • A team of employees met with residents and businesses in a wider area around the site, identifying any concerns and offering additional safety testing.
  • Reached out to the Royal Oak School District offering safety training and educational programs for students, teachers and administrators

Consumers Energy also announced a comprehensive Integrity Management Plan in place to maintain and evaluate pipelines, as part of the federal Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002. We review the structural integrity of our pipelines using methods that include: 

  • Running an electronic device inside the pipeline to transmit images and gathering data about the condition of the pipe;
  • Pressure testing pipelines using water and above-ground test instruments; and
  • If potential problems are indicated during these processes, we will excavate and examine the pipe and make repairs. 

The company went on to say, "Consumers Energy continues to fully cooperate with the Michigan Public Service Commission, the National Transportation Safety Board and local authorities. We will provide more details on findings following the conclusion of the investigation."

Daniel Malczynski.
Daniel Malczynski.

Dan Malczynski, 58 was killed Feb. 27 when his home on Cooper Avenue was ripped to pieces by a suspected natural gas blast. Consumers Energy has blamed a ruptured service line. Dozens of other homes and businesses were damaged by debris.


Photo courtesy Jim Charbonneau

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