Springfield to seek $1 million for Nov. gas blast


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Springfield's chief economic development official says city officials plan to ask Columbia Gas for about $1 million for property damage and other costs tied to the Nov. 23 natural gas blast downtown.

A Columbia Gas employee accidentally punctured a gas line while probing a leak. It leveled a gentlemen's club and damaged many other businesses and residences.

Nearly two dozen emergency personnel, civilians and utility employees were injured. Businesses owners also complained that revenue fell sharply due to the destruction.

The Republican reports (http://bit.ly/WW80hO ) that Kevin E. Kennedy, the city's chief development officer, said the proposed settlement will account for property damage, personal injury, reconstruction and other costs.

A Columbia gas spokeswoman says more than half of 800 claims have been paid, but did not say how much.