http://www.nbc5i.com/news/2955822/detail.html Gas Company Was Aware Of Faulty Pipe Pipeline Caused 8 Fires, Deaths FORT WORTH, Texas -- A North Texas gas company, which regulates the state's pipelines, knew about a faulty pipe for more than 30 years before disclosing it to state regulators this year, a newspaper reported Sunday. Five people died and at least five others were injured in eight fires caused by the pipeline, according to documents examined by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Texas Railroad Commission ordered the removal of the 750-mile pipe after a gas explosion in 2000 killed three people in Garland. The pipe was installed in the 1970s by Lone Star Gas, a subsidiary of Enserch. In 1997, Enserch merged with TXU Corp. to create a new subsidiary, TXU Gas. The pipe is made of polyethylene, called Poly 1, and will crack if dropped, squeezed off or handled in almost any way, railroad commission officials said. "The company knew for decades that they had bad pipe in the ground. Several people were killed -- and they have gotten off with no penalties," said Janee Briesemeister, a policy analyst with Consumers Union, which also publishes Consumer Reports magazine. "And now they want consumers to pay to fix their problems? Consumers should be outraged." TXU Gas already has been fined $250,000 for missing deadlines to remove the pipe, Railroad Commission safety director Mary McDaniel said. Sydna Gordon, a lawyer whose parents were killed in the Garland explosion, said the gas company and the state regulators share blame for the deaths. "I believe they both bear responsibility -- both the regulators and TXU," she said. "I just don't understand why they would have allowed the company to leave something that dangerous in the ground for so long. ... It's inspired me to do whatever I can to help other people be safe. I don't want something like this happening to someone else's family."