Excerpt: In the Bainbridge home explosion, a state inspector was on site for some of the cement work, and had no knowledge of the problems until after the explosion, according to Tugend.

Industry insiders say state authorities aren't doing an adequate job. Just because investigators are showing up and running tests doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

Mike Coyer, owner of Black Swamp Oil Field Services, which maintains, plugs and cleans gas and oil wells in Portage, Ohio, said oversight is uneven. Many inspectors have no idea what to look for, Coyer said.

"There's a lack of experience. We have some inspectors out there that grew up in the oil field, worked the oil field and know what they're doing. And then we have some that don't," Coyer said, adding that some of the substandard practices he sees alarm him. "Some things scare me."