One of Two Welders in Pipeline Explosion Dies

One of Two Welders in Pipeline Explosion Dies

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BUFORD, Ga. (AP) -- One of two workers severely burned in an explosion in a water pipe they were installing in north Gwinnett County has died of his injuries.

Brian Lipe, 32, a supervisor, had been in critical condition since the accident occurred Monday. He died Wednesday morning at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, the Gwinnett Daily Post reported.

Keith Duffer, 47, a welding superintendent remained in critical condition late Wednesday night.

Fire officials said the workers, from National Welding Corporation of Salt Lake City, had just begun work inside the pipe when a spark -- possibly from welding equipment -- caused the explosion.

The workers were taken by helicopter to Grady Memorial.

Officials believed the explosion might have occurred due to a natural gas buildup from a leaking gas line near the site. The 72-inch pipe was intended to transport water from Lake Lanier to two drinking water treatment plants.

Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration officials were still investigating the cause of the accident.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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