June 29, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

How far away is death? Massive methane gas leak

methane gas

Methane gas is highly flammable. A mix of hydrogen and carbon, the gas has no color and no odor.

The largest methane (or natural) gas leak in U.S. history occurred in Southern California’s Aliso Canyon on October 23, 2015.* The blowout in the San Fernando Valley included the release of toxic chemicals, more than 100,000 tons of methane.

**”As a result, nearly 10,000 families were displaced from their homes and forced to relocate. Two schools had to close for the school year and thousands reported health symptoms. The well was sealed on Feb. 15, 2016.” From a resident who lived close to the facility at the time of the blowout, “We know from the root cause analysis that the blowout was the result of negligence, and they must take full responsibility for the costs of this disaster.” . . . ““We need to close this facility down before it happens again.”

The storage facility where the leak occurred is owned by Southern California Gas Company.

*Content source/credit: C&EN Enterprises, Southern California methane leak was largest in U.S. history,” by Elizabeth Wilson, February 29, 2016.

**NBCLosAngeles, “Seven Years Since Aliso Canyon Gas Blowout: What’s Happened?” by Bethany Brown, November 1, 2022.

Video source/credit: Provided to National Geographic by Earthworks, “Massive Gas Leak in California Revealed in Infrared Footage | National Geographic,”

Circumstances can crop up anywhere at any time if proper and safe sequence and procedures are not planned and followed. We encourage you to learn and use the TapRooT® System to find and fix problems.

TapRooT® has a team of investigators and instructors with years of extensive training ready to offer assistance worldwide. We also offer ongoing support to our clients through free newsletters and root cause tip videos, the root cause analysis blog, and our annual Global TapRooT® Summit.

Register for one of our TapRooT® courses. We offer a basic 2-day course and an advanced 5-day courseContact us or call 865.539.2139 about having a course at your site or for further root cause analysis opportunities. We’re here to find solutions for you.

Contact us to discuss training your employees on-site. You may also call us at 865.539.2139 to speak to an instructor, schedule an executive briefing, or book on-site training for your team.

How Far Away Is Death?
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