Governor: Firestone explosion must never happen again

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DENVER -- Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the public Wednesday for the first time since a deadly home explosion was linked to a severed flow line that, by all accounts, the homeowners did not know was there.

In response, Hickenlooper issued a statewide directive requiring an inspection of all wells and lines within 1,000 feet of structures. Hickenlooper estimated that would be about 50,000 locations within 30 days.

"We are going to evaluate our entire inspection process and try to look at what should an inspector have noticed," Hickenlooper said.

The governor said he did not believe the oil and gas companies would "cut corners" during the inspection process. The directive requires the companies to inspect the lines, not statewide agents.

As for whether 50,000 would be inspected within 30 days, Hickenlooper said that might be a tall task but wanted to convey a "high sense of urgency."

RELATED: Location, status of oil and gas wells in Colorado

A major issue is flow lines, partially outdated and abandoned ones that are decades old. Hickenlooper believed proper mapping should take place.

"Their location should be a matter of public record," Hickenlooper said. "The question we have to ask is how does this never happen again."

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