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In fall 2006, an elderly couple in Wylie, TX, slept soundly while a killer entered their home. In the middle of the night, they were thrown violently from their beds and burned to death. The perpetrator: natural gas.
An official investigation by state regulators found that natural gas had leaked into Benny and Martha Cryer’s home when a gas line coupling came loose beneath the meter in the alley outside. On the night of October 16, the gas ignited and the ensuing explosion blew the Cryers out of bed, trapping them under burning debris.
But this story is not about one tragic incident, it’s about how Brett Shipp, a television reporter from WFAA in Dallas, found that state regulators, along with local power companies, have for decades ignored fatal design flaws in the vital infrastructure that brings natural gas into thousands of American homes.