THOMSON, Ga. - Firefighters, emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officers met with representatives of Dixie Pipeline Company at the Thomson Depot on Sept. 15 to discuss the lessons learned in a fatal pipeline accident.
The propane pipeline explosion killed 23-year-old Jason McCorkle. The explosion occurred near Belle Meade subdivision outside of Thomson. Earlier that morning, McCorkle's father, Paul McCorkle, a county commissioner, was operating a bulldozer and accidentally ruptured the pipeline while doing road work on McCorkle Farm.
The responders discussed the overall response, how it was handled and whether anything could be improved if a similar accident were to ever take place here again.
Paul McCorkle, whose son died, attended the meeting representing the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners.
The single biggest issue discussed involved making sure that before anyone digs that they call the Georgia 811 number.
"It's the law," said Michael McLaughlin, coordinator and public awareness/damage prevention representative with EPCO, Inc.
Paul McCorkle had not called that telephone number.
"We're here to get your feedback," said Jesse Gregoire, manager of regional safety for Dixie Pipeline Company. "I want this to be an interactive meeting. We want to see if there is anything we can do differently, if another accident happens around here."