Anchorage, AK-- If Enstar didn't feel the hurt from their unions strike last week, they are feeling it Monday.
Two more gas lines were breached during routine excavations on Satuday. One reportedly lasting longer than an hour, flinging unwanted pressurized gas into Wasilla's atmosphere.
"We had two line breaks in the valley. Both were third party damages. We have four to five hundred gas line breaks a year. It's typical given the busy construction season," John Sims, Business Developer of Enstar says.
But as typical as a gas line breach might be, the response plus repair time might not be as common.
What's usually under control in a matter of minutes, is taking Enstar significantly longer to fix.
"If we weren't on strike, we would see more Enstar crews on site, and also locates would be done by employees who know how to do it, some of these accidents could be avoidable," General Counsel of Union 367 Charles Dunnagan says.
Union 367 from Enstar began their strike a week from Monday over a pension dispute.
But according to their General Counsel Charles Dunnagan, this last gas line breach has exploited the natural gas company.
"The Enstar rep ended up telling MTA he was not not knowledgeable about locating gas lines or what to do when gas lines are broken in construction, he wasn't much help," Dunnagan says.
MTA, Matanuska Telephone Association, was behind this particular escavation.
But due to a misleading gas location by, " an Enstar representative who was not knowledgable of the situation," the provided gas line location was off by six feet.
MTA only had this to say,
"Our crews were working excavating on the Parks highway. We hit an unlocated gas line, called Enstar, which is the standard operating procedure and Enstar responded and fixed it," Carolyn Hanson, Director of Marketing and Sales of the Matanuska Telephone Association says.
The Matanuska Telephone Association refused to comment any further, but according to union workers who were present during the third gas line breach, MTA told them they were angry over real safety concerns.
According to Dunnigan, one of his guys who just happen to drive by the incident, smelled gas and ultimately fix the problem.
"We want our guys to stop. We may be on strike but nobody dies. Explosive gas under pressure is dangerous, glad our guy stop the lines," Dunnagan said.
For enstar, MTA told union workers they question the gas company using inadaquate strike replacements during these dangerous but necessary routine excavations.