Companies discuss solutions to manhole explosions Monday

A bombshell was revealed at a state regulatory meeting to investigate manhole explosions in downtown Indianapolis.


A former vice president for the company who acquired Indianapolis Power & Light claims he warned executives of a huge downtown underground problem eight years ago.

A bombshell was revealed at a state regulatory meeting to investigate manhole explosions in downtown Indianapolis.

Duane Ingalls claimed he got fired eight years ago, when he told executives that there were major problems with manholes and cables underground downtown Indianapolis. He claimed executives offered him hush money but he never accepted it.

Now, a private consulting company has officially released a 180-page report which Ingalls feels gives him validation.

"Indianapolis Power & Light maintenance practices are lacking," said Ingalls. "Maintenance spending is low, and the IPL system isn't as good as it is designed."

Even the consulting firm gives Ingalls some accolades.

"He must be congratulated" said Daniel O'Neil, a consultant based out of Atlanta.

The report gave IPL's maintenance a "C" grade and revealed faulty cables combined with steam can cause explosions like this.

This year, five manholes exploded, including one near Conseco Fieldhouse November 19.  

We wanted to get the CEO of Indianapolis Power & Light's side of the story.

"I go back to the report and we are implementing these things,” said Ken Kagzebski, CEO of Indianapolis Power & Light. “Safety is our first priority and it is of the utmost importance to us."

But what about the Super Bowl?

Crews are putting cover locks over manholes so if there is an explosion, materials will not fly in the air. However, to Ingalls, it's a bittersweet moment.

It has taken eight years to get the message across, but he feels good he did the right thing. But even the experts admit, Ingalls is no engineer and they do differ from some of his observations.

The consulting firm will be back in 30 days to implement specific guidelines to fix the problem.

It is unclear how long the process will take.





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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