Dell Rapids Explosion A Harrowing Reminder Of The Dangers At Play In The Outside Plant

Dell Rapids Explosion A Harrowing Reminder Of The Dangers At Play In The Outside Plant

‘Nothing short of a miracle’ for man who escaped Dell Rapids fire

Decades of military and law enforcement service had Jim Hallem in many hairy situations throughout his life. But nothing he experienced as a soldier or police officer could prepare the 78-year-old for what happened to him Tuesday. Taking a break from clipping his grass, Hallem left his Dell Rapids home in his Ford Explorer Tuesday about 11 a.m.

On June 10, subcontractors for Golden West Telecommunications in Dell Rapids were working on their fiber cable when they accidentally punctured a main gas line. When 78 year old Dell Rapids citizen Jim Hallen went to start his car, the ignition triggered a massive explosion that engulfed him from every angle. Thankfully, Hallen escaped the explosion with only minor injuries, but this incident could have just as easily gone the other way…

It’s a harrowing reminder of the real dangers that are at play every time we access the outside plant. The hazards technicians and the general public face when accessing the outside plant come in many forms. This time, it was a clipped natural gas line, but next time it could be noxious gas inside a manhole, traffic hazards, or electrocution.

One of the top network maintenance activities for any network operator is cable locates. With traditional cable locates, every locate requires technicians to access the outside plant to place the tone transmitter on the line, putting the technician, your network and the general public at risk. Norscan’s Touchless Locate system ensures that you never have to access your outside plant to perform a cable locate. Technicians dial into the system, select a line, and the system places the tone on the line remotely, allowing your technicians to perform their locates quickly, accurately, and most importantly, safely.