February 21, 2014 | Barb Carr

Remembering an Accident: 1981 Louisville, Kentucky Sewer Explosion

Aftermath-of-sewer-explosion.On February 13, 1981, a series of sewer explosions destroyed more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky. The explosions were caused by ignition of hexane vapors discharged from a Ralston-Purina soybean processing plant located near the University of Louisville.

The hexane leaked straight into the sewer system, where it spread into the lines under adjacent homes. It is a miracle that there were no fatalities. Ralston-Purina paid $18 million to the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District and more than $8.9 million to 16,000 plaintiffs in a lawsuit.

View dramatic images of the Friday the 13th explosion and read more here.

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