Gas Explosion Victim Speaks Out to Workers in Southern Tier

Gas Explosion Victim Speaks Out

WATKINS GLEN -- [WENY] The weather heating up means contractors in the Southern Tier are getting ready to start digging and start new projects.
     But, before they do that, Dig Safely New York wanted to make sure professionals know the best practices for avoiding utilities
     This year's event is especially pertinent after the recent natural gas explosion in Kansas city that turned deadly.
     Brad Livingston, the keynote speaker shared his personal experience. He survived a double gas explosion that happened due to what he calls an unsafe act-- taking a shortcut at work.
Setember 20 1991 changed his life for good. He was given a five percent chance to live.
     "We had been told what the liquid level was, but that wasn't correct and the shortcut we took was not gauging those tanks to find out for ourselves," said Livingston.
     Brad Livingston's co-worker on scene with him died. As for Brad he had 18 surgeries and 63 percent of his boy was covered in burns. He lost his hearing as a result to antibiotics he was taking to fight the blood infection that he had.
      His favorite hobby of running- gone. He had to learn how to walk again
     But what hurt him the most-- how he impacted his family.
      "What did I do to my own children those people that I love and cherish more than anything on this earth? Tell me, when is it ok to take a shortcut at work?," Livingston asked the crowd of 349 workers.
     Brad hopes the professional excavators learned this can happen if they don't follow protocol at work. His message to workers is, "I would have never thought my family would go through what they went through because I got hurt, so I want them to think above all things that it will effect other people.
      He never wants a gas worker to go through the emotional and physical pain he went through that he describes as ripping off layer of skin and rubbing sandpaper on it.
     "He just really has a great safety message that kind of reinforces that you have to do things safe and make sure you do them right whether it's applying to every day life or in our case safe digging," said Kevin Hopper, Dig Safely NY Operations Manager.
     The number to call is 8-1-1. It's a free call and underground pipes will be marked within 2 full working days. For more information visit