Cause of ‘strong odor’ reported in Southwest Detroit under investigation

No evidence to indicate natural gas caused incident, DTE Energy says

Site where explosion reportedly took place.
Site where explosion reportedly took place. (Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition)

DETROIT – The city of Detroit, Great Lakes Water Authority and DTE Energy are investigating an incident that happened late Saturday night near Fort and Dearborn streets in Southwest Detroit.

Update: Apparent underground explosion significantly damages Detroit dispensary, officials investigating strange odor

As of Sunday afternoon the cause of an odor reported in the area was still unknown. According to the environmental group, Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition, a “strong smell” was emitted from what it described as an underground explosion.

Michigan State Senator Stephanie Chang of the 1st district is asking residents to be cautious and report anything unusual they smell to the PEAS hotline at 800-292-4706.

Chang added that her office is reaching out to DTE Energy and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy for information about the source of the odor, any potential hazards and whether residents should take precautions.

A statement released by DTE Energy Sunday read, “At this time, there is no evidence to indicate natural gas was the cause of the incident; a natural gas explosion did not occur. However, parts of DTE’s gas and electric infrastructure were impacted by a water main break. DTE personnel are on site to ensure public safety as well as the integrity of the natural gas and electric infrastructure systems.”

The statement continued, “Safety for the public and our crews is our top priority. We ask the public, for their safety, to refrain from entering areas that have been secured by the local authorities and utility companies.”

DTE Energy is also urging residents who smell or suspect a gas leak to leave the area, call 911 and the company at 800-947-5000 or your natural gas provider to report the situation.


About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.