We now have an
eyewitness account of the explosion of the McDonald’s lift station shed
early Wednesday morning, filed with the Chesterton Police Department.
occurred at 12:55 a.m., according to an eyewitness parked in the Taco Bell
lot across the street from the McDonald’s on Indian Boundary Road. “There
was a big fire ball and debris flew everywhere,” he advised, including
landing on his vehicle’s windshield, leaving a seven-inch horizontal crack
damage at $1,000.
Town Engineer Mark
O’Dell now believes that the explosion occurred after gasoline infiltrated
the sanitary sewer system, apparently from the BP Amoco property. Gasoline
vapors then collected downstream in the lift station, possibly mixing with
methane from the sewage, until they were ignited by a spark thrown by the
facility’s control panel.
BP’s sewer service
lateral has since been plugged while BP has retained a contractor to
investigate and mitigate.
The lift station
itself has remained operational despite the violent destruction of its