State utility regulators have opened a formal investigation into last summer’s fatal Sun Prairie natural gas explosion that killed a firefighter and leveled several buildings in the city’s downtown.
The Public Service Commission voted unanimously Thursday to investigate a complaint filed by USIC Locating Services, the company that was contracted to mark the locations of underground pipes.
USIC claims drilling company VC Tech violated state law when it failed to notify the state utility call center, known as Diggers Hotline, before starting work on July 10. VC Tech has denied that allegation.
VC Tech struck an underground gas line while boring a hole for fiber-optic communications cable being installed by Verizon. The blast killed Cory Barr, a captain with the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department, and injured two other firefighters. Five buildings were destroyed, several others were damaged and dozens of residents were displaced.