I was back home in the Chicago area for the holidays last week. My parents happened to mention that a house in their community had recently exploded. That’s right. Exploded.
They live in Homer Glen, a far southwest suburb of Chicago.
According to local news reports, in the afternoon of December 15 residents near 143rd and Parker began reporting the “rotten egg” smell associated with a natural gas leak. NICOR, the natural gas distribution company that services much of northern Illinois, began alerting residents, asking them to evacuate their homes. One home exploded around 4:30pm, injuring two residents, and destroying the house.
Over a dozen homes in the area were evacuated in subsequent days as NICOR worked to identify and cap the natural gas leak, and restore distribution.
I have been unable to find information as to what exactly caused the leak and explosion.
When I was searching for information about the incident, I also found a news report from this past October describing a separate natural gas explosion at a home in Romeoville, another far southwestern suburb just west of Homer Glen. Two townhouses were destroyed, and two NICOR workers who were repairing the gas leak were injured. The report notes that the exact cause of the leak and explosion were under investigation.
Last month, a natural gas explosion killed a power company employee who was working to fix a ruptured gas line in Canton, IL.