Officials rule out explosion at Fort and Dearborn streets in Detroit, cause of damage still unknown

Residents complain of natural gas odor for weeks

Cause of southwest Detroit incident under investigation
Cause of southwest Detroit incident under investigation

DETROIT – Officials still don’t know what caused the road at Fort Street and Dearborn Street in Detroit to rise nearly eight inches.

Residents said they smelled a natural gas odor for weeks. DTE said methane is leaking from the cracks but that the incident is not the result of a natural gas explosion.

“We’ve talked to a lot of experts. Never seen anything like this. It is very intriguing to us, can’t wait to see what caused this,” Hakim Berry, COO of the City of Detroit, said.

The EPA, EGLE, Great Lakes Water Authority, and DTE are among the agencies trying to figure out what happened.

“At this point, there is no indication that this was a result of a natural gas leak or our infrastructure not operating as it should be,” DTE Gas Vice President Renee Tomina said.

On Saturday (Sept. 11) the owner of Stash Detroit said he felt an explosion and then smelled gas.

“The ground began to swell slowly for about 20 to 30 minutes to the state it is now and the building shifted as well,” Berry said.

People who live near the mostly industrial area have been complaining about a natural gas odor for weeks. DTE said it was contained, but that methane is now leaking from the cracks on Fort Street.

“We do have the natural gas leak in the area so our crews have been working to make sure we get that stopped immediately,” Tomina said.

Read: DTE, other agencies investigate apparent underground explosion in Southwest Detroit

The City of Detroit, Great Lakes Water Authority and DTE Energy are investigating an incident that happened in Southwest Detroit late Saturday night.
The City of Detroit, Great Lakes Water Authority and DTE Energy are investigating an incident that happened in Southwest Detroit late Saturday night.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.