I just read an article in CIO Magazine in the section called finish. The article is called “Don’t Blow Your Top”. The short article details some of the work being done by Columbia University and ConEd to detect potential issues in the underground utility spaces like the build-up of explosive gasses.
The article reminded me of the real dangers with these underground utilities. The issues like fires, and explosions usually do not make the news, but are real dangers. I remember as a kid that they were tearing down an old utility station in Chicago. I was walking past with some friends, and we witnessed first hand what an underground utility explosion was like. Fortunately, the explosion was a manhole “popper”, but did not do any visible (surface) damage. It was smoking, and smoldering so we ran away.