Case Study Lafayette Indiana Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion

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The following is a partial list of pipeline accidents in the United States (1975–1999). More information can be obtained from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.[1]



  • 1975 A Mid-Valley Pipeline crude oil pipeline at Lima, Ohio, ruptured after a valve was accidentally closed against a pumping pipeline, on January 17. The spraying crude oil ignited, killing a Terminal Operator.[2]
  • 1975 On January 23, a propane chiller at a MAPCO facility exploded violently during maintenance work on it, near Iowa City, Iowa. 2 workers were killed and 3 others injured by the failure.[3]
  • 1975 A gas transmission pipeline exploded and gas burned in Mediapolis, Iowa on January 27. There were no injuries reported.[4]
  • 1975 In March, a leak was discovered in a 14-inch petroleum products pipeline in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Plantation Pipeline began efforts to recover the spilled petroleum. From that time through June 1983, approximately 2,022 barrels of spilled petroleum products were recovered from standpipes at the leak site. Remediation efforts stopped in October 1984. Later tests raised questions on the possibility of not all of the spill products were recovered.[5]
  • 1975 A 12-inch crude oil pipeline ruptured near Harwood, Missouri, on March 26. Heavy rain slowed the cleanup.[6]
  • 1975 A natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline ruptured due to previous mechanical damage, at Devers, Texas. 4 people were killed in a following vapor cloud fire. The pipeline had been damaged when a valve was installed on the pipeline. (May 12, 1975)[7]
  • 1975 An explosion in June 1975 at a home in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was caused by natural gas leaking into the home from an open main in the middle of the street. One person was killed. In 1973, workers hired by the gas company had falsified records showing the main had been closed.[8]
  • 1975 On June 11, a leaking pipeline for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company was found to have spilled about 60,000 gallons of crude oil at a construction camp in Alaska. That pipeline had been noticed leaking before, but, previous repair efforts had failed.[9]
  • 1975 An LPG pipeline ruptured near Romulus, Michigan, due to previous mechanical damage to the pipeline, and over pressurization from operator error, caused by closing a valve against a pumping pipeline, at a storage facility. Nine people were injured in the following vapor cloud fire. Flames 500 feet (150 m) high engulfed a 600-foot (180 m)-diameter area, destroyed four houses and damaged three others, burned 12 vehicles, and consumed 2,389 barrels (379.8 m3) of propane. (August 2, 1975)[10][11]
  • 1975 An ammonia pipeline ruptured in Texas City, Texas on September 3. 47 people needed medical treatment for ammonia exposure.[12]
  • 1975 On September 7, a gas gathering pipeline failed due to internal and external corrosion near Kilgore, Texas. Unodorized natural gas liquids from leak were ignited by an automobile, killing 5 people.[13]
  • 1975 On September 19, flooding along the Amite River in Louisiana caused a 12-inch propane pipeline to break, releasing about 743,000 gallons of propane.[14]
  • 1975 On October 13, employees at a gas processing plant at Goldsmith, Texas heard leak gas, and investigated. Before the leak could be found, a 12-inch pipeline there exploded, killing 3 of the crew, injuring 2 others, and causing extensive plant damage.[13]
  • 1975 On December 18, a failed pressure relief device caused cracks in storage tanks supporting the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System, leaking about 600,000 gallons of crude oil in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.[15]


  • 1976 On January 7, a repair crew working on natural gas gathering compressor station at Cedardale, Oklahoma, opened the wrong valve in an attempt to increase gas flow. Natural gas & Natural Gas Liquids flow out of an open 12-inch pipeline, and were ignited by an open flame heater. 5 of the crew were killed, and 2 seriously burned.[16]
  • 1976 On January 10, a gas leak at the Pathfinder Hotel in Fremont, Nebraska, exploded, killing 23 people. A compression coupling on a gas line had pulled apart, causing gas to leak into the Hotel's basement.[17]
  • 1976 A MAPCO LPG/NGL pipeline ruptured near Whitharral, Texas, leading to vapor cloud fire that killed one, severely burning 4 others who later died, destroyed two homes, and burned an area about 400 yards wide. A Low Frequency Electric Resistance Weld (LF-ERW) seam failure is suspected for the failure. From January 1968 to the date of the Whitharral accident, 14 longitudinal pipe seam failures had occurred on that pipeline system, which resulted in 6 other fatalities, and the loss of over 60,000 barrels (9,500 m3) of LPG.(February 25, 1976)[18][19][20]
  • 1976 An improperly assembled compression coupling failed on a gas distribution line in Phoenix, Arizona on February 8, causing a house explosion that killed 2 people.[21]
  • 1976 On March 2, an 18-inch Gulf Oil pipeline failure spilled about 21,000 gallons of crude oil into the Wisner Wildlife Area in Louisiana. There were no initial reports of wildlife being affected.[22]
  • 1976 On March 16, a 6-inch ARCO pipeline failed near Tilden Township, Pennsylvania, spilling gasoline into a stream.[23]
  • 1976 On March 27, a two-story building in Phenix City, Alabama, exploded and burned from a gas leak. The explosion and fire killed the six persons in the building. The NTSB found that gas at 20-psig pressure had leaked from a cracked, 3-inch cast iron gas main.[24]
  • 1976 A front loader hit a Standard Oil of California (now Chevron Corporation) 8-inch petroleum products pipeline in Los Angeles, California, during a road widening project along Venice Boulevard. 9 people were killed, a plastic factory was destroyed, and other serious property damage occurred. (June 16, 1976)[25][26]
  • On August 8, a house exploded from gas migrating through the soil, from a broken 4 inch gas main, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. 26 minutes later, gas then exploded in another house, causing a brick wall & part of the street to collapse. 2 firefighters were killed, 14 people injured, and 4 buildings destroyed.[27]
  • 1976 A road grader hit a 20-inch gas transmission pipeline near Calhoun, Louisiana. Six people were killed in the ensuing fire, 6 families were left homeless, and a mobile home and 2 houses were destroyed. (August 9, 1976)[28][29]
  • 1976 On August 13, a flash fire in the basement of a house in Bangor, Maine, occurred while a gas company crew was checking for the cause of low gas pressure at the home. The fire killed one gas company employee, burned two other employees, and caused minor damage to the house. One of the crew was using a match to light the basement of the home, and another crew member was smoking when the fire started.[30]
  • 1976 On August 29, an explosion and fire destroyed a house at Kenosha, Wisconsin. Two persons were killed, four persons were injured, and two adjacent houses were damaged. The destroyed house was not served by natural gas. However, natural gas, which was escaping at 58 psig pressure from a punctured 2-inch plastic main located 39 feet (12 m) away, had entered the house through a 6-inch sewer lateral that had been bored through to install the gas line.[13][31]
  • 1976 On September 10, sewer work and heavy equipment caused soil subsidence on a 6-inch cast iron gas pipe in Blue Island, Illinois, resulting in the pipe breaking in 4 places. Gas then migrated into a building, that later exploded, killing 1 person, and, injuring 10 others.[13]
  • 1976 On November 28, an 8-inch Sunoco pipeline began leaking in Toledo, Ohio, spilling about 1,000 barrels of gasoline, forcing a major road closure. There were no injuries.[32]
  • 1976 An explosion and fire at a gas pipeline compressor station in Orange Grove, Texas killed one plant worker, and injured another on December 6.[33]


  • On January 2, a gas pipeline ruptured and burned near Nursery, Texas. Some power poles were destroyed, but there were no injuries.[34]
  • On January 5, in Fairview, New Jersey, a circumferential break on a 6-inch cast iron gas pipe. The released gas then migrated under frozen soil & a sidewalk, into an area under the floor of a building. The gas later was ignited by an unknown source, causing an explosion that killed 1 person, injured 13 others, and destroyed 3 buildings.[13]
  • In Baltimore, Maryland on January 13, a 4-inch cast iron gas line suffered a circumferential break. The gas migrated under frozen soil and pavement into nearby rowhouses, and was likely ignited by an oil burned motor. One person was killed.[13]
  • On January 18, an 18-inch steel gas main failed and leaked into an electrical and telephone conduit in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Three explosion followed, destroying 5 buildings, and breaking windows nearby. Improper pipeline construction techniques were the cause of the failure. There were no injuries.[13]
  • A gas pipeline exploded and burned in Stockton, California on February 4, four days after another gas pipeline fire nearby. There were no injuries.[35]
  • On May 20, fire broke out at a MAPCO pipeline pumping stations and Terminal in Ogden, Iowa, threatening 4 propane storage tanks for a time. There were no injuries.[36]
  • In June, a Williams Partners pipeline terminal near Lawrence, Kansas spilled about 33,600 gallons of gasoline. the next spring, a rancher nearby was still having gasoline entering a creek on his property.[37]
  • An explosion on July 8 at Trans-Alaska Pipeline System Pump Station No. 8 kills one worker, injures 5 others, and destroys the pump station. Over $2 million in damage was done. A US House of Representatives Committee later announced the cause was workers not following the proper procedures, causing crude oil to flow into a pump under repair at the time.[38][39][40][41]
  • On July 19, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System pipeline was shut down for the 4th time in a month, when it was hit in a valve by a front loader. More than 40,000 US gallons (150,000 L) of crude oil was spilled.[42]
  • A 12-inch propane pipeline ruptured near Ruff Creek, in Greene County, Pennsylvania, from stress corrosion cracking, on July 20. The resulting propane vapor cloud ignited, when a truck that was driven into the cloud stalled, then created a spark, when it was restarted. The two men in the truck were killed, as well as 57 head of cattle, along with destruction of power lines and wooded areas. Subsidence of underground coal mines in the area may have hastened the failure.[43][44]
  • A cast iron gas main broke in Cherokee, Alabama on July 30. Gas migrated into a home through a recently back filled sewer line trench, and exploded 5 days later.[45]
  • In August, a car drove through leaking liquid from a petroleum pipeline in Lakewood, California. The pooled liquid appeared to be mud, but it exploded and burned, injuring a woman in the car.[46]
  • On August 9, natural gas under 20 psi pressure entered a 6-ounce per square inch gas distribution system in El Paso, Texas, over pressuring 750 gas customer customers. Numerous small fires resulted from this. The cause was an error during gas pipeline replacement.[13]
  • On August 15, crude oil spilled at Trans-Alaska Pipeline System Pump Station No. 9. There was no fire, but a fire or explosion at that station could have shut down that pipeline, since Pump Station No. 8 was out of service from the previous month's accident there. This was the seventh accident on this pipeline since the start up of the Alaska pipeline on June 20, 1977. The NTSB released three recommendations on September 9, 1977, to correct certain design and operating deficiencies in the pump rooms of each station of the Alyeska system.[47][48]
  • A gas transmission pipeline exploded, forcing hundreds to evacuate in Columbus, Indiana on August 26. There was no fire or injuries.[49]
  • On September 5, 2 brothers in a moving truck drove into a vapor cloud from a leak at a gas compressor plant in New Cuyama, California, igniting the cloud. One was killed immediately, and the other died 11 days later.[46]
  • On September 10, a pipeline rupture spilled 69,000 US gallons (260,000 L) of gasoline into a creek in Toledo, Ohio. Corrosion of the pipeline caused the failure.[50][51]
  • A gas line inside a building in San Francisco, California leaked and exploded, injuring 7 and heavily damaging that building. Gas repair crews were working on the line at the time.[52]
  • On October 12, a bulldozer ruptured a propane pipeline near Albany, Georgia, causing nearby train traffic to be halted. The bulldozer engine was left running, nearly igniting the vapors.[53]
  • On October 30, a bulldozer hit a gas pipeline in Shreveport, Louisiana. The gas ignited, causing a 100 foot tall flame, injuring 4 people.[54]
  • A backhoe being used to install a pipeline hit an adjacent 6-inch propane pipeline on November 21 in Hutchinson, Kansas. Fire broke out, but there were no injuries.[55]
  • Construction workers punctured a 12-inch gas pipeline in Atlanta, Georgia, with an I-beam on December 1. No fire or explosion followed, but thousands of people were evacuated from nearby buildings.[56]
  • On December 10, a 2 inch plastic gas main cracked and migrated under a paved parking area in Tempe, Arizona. The gas reached a building 35 feet away from the leak, where it was ignited by a cigarette. The explosion and fire that followed killed 2 people, and injured 3 others. Investigations showed the main had been damaged previous, and had been repaired by applying a piece of tape, by a non-gas company person.[57]
  • A compression coupling joint between a plastic and a steel gas line pulled apart in Lawrence, Kansas on December 15. The gas migrated into 2 buildings, and exploded, killing 2 people, and injuring 3 others.[58][59]


  • Earth movement was suspected in causing a gas transmission pipeline to rupture and burn near Stevenson, Washington on January 23. There were no injuries.[60]
  • On January 25, a 6 inch gas main ruptured at a weld, in Stoughton, Massachusetts, causing gas to migrate under pavement & frozen earth into a building. The building later exploded, killing one person.[57]
  • On February 10, a front end loader clearing snow hit a 1 inch gas riser line, in Sullivan, Indiana. The gas later exploded in the building, killing 4 people, and destroying the building.[57]
  • On February 15, a gas pipeline being tested with compressed air exploded at a seam on the pipe in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 15, injuring 8.[61]
  • A portion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System pipeline east of Fairbanks, Alaska was ruptured by an explosive device on February 15. Crude oil spilled in a 600-foot (180 m) diameter spot.[62]
  • On February 26, a 16-inch Cities Service Gas pipeline ruptured near Lecompton, Kansas, causing natural gas shortages in the area.[63]
  • An improperly plugged gas line leaked into service vault in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at a shopping center, overcoming 5 gas company workers on March 29. Four of the repairmen died of asphyxiation. None of the repair crew had respirators at the job site.[64]
  • On April 7, 2 men performing maintenance on a town border gas meter, in Weimar, Texas. The meter exploded, injuring one of the men. A casting defect in the meter was determined to be the cause of the explosion.[57]
  • A gas company crew in Mansfield, Ohio accidentally tied a high pressure gas main into a low pressure gas main on May 17. Much higher gas flames in gas appliances caused damage in 16 homes, and about 2,000 gas meters were shut off during the incident.[65]
  • On June 12, a 10-inch gas pipeline was hit by a construction crew, in Kansas City, Missouri. Almost 2 hour later, escaping gas ignited, causing burns to 2 men from a crew trying to fix the pipeline leak.[66]
  • A MAPCO LPG pipeline in Donnellson, Iowa ruptured from past mechanical damage and improper lowering for road improvements. The vapor cloud ignited several minutes after the rupture. Three people were killed and 2 others severely burned. The pipe failed at a dented and gouged area not seen during the original construction, or lowering for road work a few months before. A hydrostatic test on this pipeline after the accident caused failures at 2 other dented & gouged section, and 15 ERW seam failures in 117 miles. (August 4, 1978)[67][68][69]
  • On August 7, in Lafayette, Louisiana, natural gas at 15 psig pressure escaped from a corrosion leak in an inactive 1-inch steel service line and migrated beneath a concrete slab and into a building where it ignited. The resulting explosion and fire injured six persons and destroyed the building and its contents.[70]
  • On August 14, a coal digging crew in Cairo, Missouri hit a MAPCO LPG pipeline with a backhoe. The gas ignited about 2 hours later, as digging crews were still working nearby. 1 worker was burned, along with the backhoe, a bulldozer, and a diesel fuel tank.[71]
  • On August 28, natural gas, which had escaped from a circumferential fracture in a socket heat-fusion coupling on a 2-in. polyethylene (PE) main, operating at 40-psig pressure, migrated beneath a one-story house in Grand Island, Nebraska, exploded, and then burned. One person was injured; the house was destroyed; and three adjacent houses were damaged.[72]
  • About 7,600 US gallons (29,000 L) of gasoline were spilled in Hampton, Pennsylvania on August 30. Workers boring for a sewer line had hit a fuel pipeline. Later, the 2 construction firms responsible were fined only $500 each.[73][74]
  • A pipeline feeding a Strategic Petroleum Reserve storage cavern ruptured in Hackberry, Louisiana on September 22, causing a large fire.[75]
  • A 30-inch United Texas Transmission gas pipeline in Brookside Village, Texas ruptured and exploded, killing five people, and injuring 43 others. Seven mobile homes were also destroyed. The blast was felt 35 miles away. (October 24, 1978)[76][77]
  • On October 30, a pickup truck with 2 women inside drove into an unseen gas cloud from a leaking gas gathering pipeline in Preston, Oklahoma, triggering explosions and a fire, killing the 2 women. 3 homes were also damaged. Flames from the fire reached 200 feet high.[78]
  • An Amoco crude oil pipeline leaked into the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area west of Farmington, Utah on November 7. About 105,000 gallons of crude were spilled. The rupture was caused by pumping against a valve that had been closed for earlier pipeline maintenance.[79][80]


  • A ruptured 2-inch gas line leaking caused a home to explode in Spokane, Washington on January 6, killing the homeowner.[81]
  • On January 16, an explosion and fire destroyed five commercial buildings and damaged several other buildings in London, Kentucky. Two persons were injured. External corrosion was suspected as the cause. A prearranged pressure increase in the pipeline was also a factor.[82][83]
  • On January 18 in Hocking County, Ohio a high pressure pipeline ruptured, killing a line repairman, and a supervisor. 6 other line repairman were also seriously injured.
  • On February 7, a Colonial Pipeline stubline ruptured in Hamilton, Tennessee, spilling about 152,000 gallons of petroleum product. The cause was from imprper backfill of soil around the pipeline during its construction.[84]
  • On March 2, at Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Pump Station #6 located near the Yukon River in Alaska, the topping unit producing turbine fuel experienced a flame out of the flare stack which burns flammable tail gas from the unit. Automatic ignition apparatus did not function due to the extreme low temperature of -25F. A safety professional on staff was tasked with climbing the stack and re-igniting the flare manually. Once ignition was established, and before the safety professional could climb down from the top catwalk platform, station management ordered the combustion blower to be turned on and tail gas pressure to be increased from 3psi to 11psi. The action resulted in a surge through the knock out drum at the base of the stack, causing residual oil and naphtha to be blown up the stack, covering the top catwalk and approximately the top 60 feet of the stack in burning petroleum. The safety professional was severely burned and fell through the stack main access ladder components and iron work 115 feet to the ground. The occurrence did not result in a fatality, however, fire damaged the stack and petroleum contaminated the surrounding base area.[citation needed]
  • An 18-inch natural gas transmission pipeline failed underneath the Florida Turnpike in West Palm Beach, Florida, resulting in a 2-hour road closure.[85]
  • On April 18, a 24-inch natural gas transmission pipeline pulled out of a compression coupling, during a line-lowering project under Iowa State Highway 181, in a rural area, near Dallas, Iowa. Within seconds, the natural gas ignited and burned a 900-foot (270 m) by 400-foot (120 m) area. Two cars, a pickup truck, and a trailer housing construction equipment were destroyed. A backhoe was damaged and windows were broken in a nearby farmhouse. Five of the eight injured workers were hospitalized. The gas company's accident records indicated that this 24-inch pipeline had experienced 12 previous failures since it was constructed.[86]
  • On April 20, a series of explosions, and a fire, struck a Sunoco pipeline terminal in Toledo, Ohio. Some nearby residents fled their homes, and telephone service was disrupted.[87][88]
  • On May 11, 2 explosions, and a following fire, killed 7 people, injured 19 others, and destroyed 3 buildings, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Soil erosion under an 8-inch cast iron gas main caused the main to break and release gas.[89]
  • On May 13, a 36-inch Colonial Pipeline ruptured, releasing 336,000 US gallons (1,270,000 L) of fuel oil that damaged vegetation, and killed fish, near Spartanburg, South Carolina. Cracks made in the railroad shipping of the pipe before installation were the cause.[90]
  • On May 19, tank truck drivers waiting at an Amoco terminal heard a bang, then saw a 3-foot side stream of gasoline pour down a nearby hillside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Train traffic on 2 nearby rail lines had to be stopped during the cleanup.[91]
  • A "spud" dropped by a pile driving barge in the Gulf of Mexico near Pilottown, Louisiana ruptured a 4-inch natural gas pipeline on June 5. The escaping gas ignited, and seriously burned the barge. 4 crew members went missing and were presumed dead.[92]
  • On June 10, the pilot of a helicopter reported sighting oil on the surface of the Atigun River near the route of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System's 48-inch crude oil pipeline. Repair crews found a 7-inch crack which passed through a longitudinal weld. Five days after the first leak, at 3:15 p.m. on June 15, the pilot of an Alyeska helicopter on a routine surveillance flight reported a leak north of pump station No. 12 near the Little Tonsina River. A crack near a wrinkle in the pipe was found there. The June 10 spill resulted in a release of approximately 1,500 barrels (240 m3) of crude oil; the June 15 leak resulted in a release of approximately 300 barrels (48 m3) of crude oil; these losses were estimated by Alyeska personnel at the leak site. The spills were too small to be verified by the Alyeska metering system.[93]
  • A crack in a wrinkled section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System pipeline occurred at Pump Station 12 on June 15 on the south end of that pipeline in southern Alaska. About 1,000 barrels of crude oil were spilled.[94][95]
  • On June 16, operator error at Colonial Pipeline caused a prior to installation rail shipping induced crack of 36-inch pipeline to rupture in Greenville County, South Carolina. 395,000 gallons of fuel oil were spilled, causing vegetation, fish, & wildlife kills.[90]
  • A leaking pipeline released gasoline in Granger, Indiana, causing the evacuation of 400 people on July 3.[96]
  • An anchor handling boat, PETE TIDE II, damaged an unmarked gas pipeline with a grappling hook offshore from New Orleans, Louisiana. Two of the crew were missing and presumed dead in the fire that followed. (July 15, 1979)[97]
  • On July 25, an explosion and fire destroyed a duplex apartment house in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two persons were killed, and two persons were hospitalized for burns; adjacent houses were damaged. Earlier in the day, a crew from Mountain Bell Telephone Company (Mountain Bell) had been using a backhoe at the intersection of Bridge Boulevard and Atrisco Road to locate a telephone cable. The backhoe snagged a gas service line but the fact that it was pulled from a 1-inch coupling under the house was not discovered at that time.[98]
  • A 34-inch Lakehead (now Enbridge) pipeline ruptured near Bemidji, Minnesota, leaking 10,700 barrels (1,700 m3) of crude oil on August 20. The pipeline company initially recovered 60 percent of the spilled oil. Later in 1988, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency required Lakehead to extract more oil using new technology; removal continued on, with studies still underway in the area.[99][100][101][102]
  • On August 20, a bulldozer operating near Orange, Texas, was being used to clean a farm drainage ditch. The corner of the blade cut into a propane line, which crossed beneath the ditch. Propane at 350 psig escaped and was ignited within seconds. The resulting fire killed one person, injured another, and caused considerable property damage.[103][104]
  • A crude oil pipeline ruptured and spilled oil into a creek new Walnut Grove, Missouri on August 25. 2 miles (3.2 km) of the creek were contaminated, and 32,000 fish killed.[105]
  • On September 4, the M/V WHITEFACE struck a high-pressure gas pipeline on Lake Verret, near Pierre Part, Louisiana. A resulting explosion killed a crewman aboard the vessel.[106]
  • On October 6, an explosion caused by liquefied natural gas (LNG) vapors destroyed a transformer building at the reception facility of the Columbia LNG Corporation, Cove Point, Maryland. Odorless liquefied natural gas leaked through an inadequately tightened LNG pump seal, vaporized, passed through approximately 210 feet (64 m) of underground electrical conduit and entered the substation building. One person was killed, and one person was seriously injured. Damage to the facility was estimated at about $3 million. The fire hydrants and deluge water spray system were inoperable after the explosion because the water main that supplied the system was broken at a flange above ground inside the substation.[107]
  • On October 24, an explosion and fire destroyed the county clerk's office building and the adjoining courthouse building, gutted a connecting building which was under construction, and damaged the adjacent houses in Stanardsville, Virginia. Thirteen persons were injured and property was damaged extensively. The following NTSB investigation revealed that natural gas had leaked from a break in a 1 1/4-inch coated steel service line, which had been snagged by a backhoe which was being used to dig a footing for an addition to the county clerk's office building.[108]
  • On October 30, a natural gas explosion and fire demolished a townhouse in Washington, D.C., and damaged nearby buildings and cars. No one was inside the townhouse at the time, but three persons in a stopped car were injured when debris from the explosion shattered a car window. After the accident, an inspection of the gas service line that served the townhouse revealed that it had been struck by excavating equipment.[109]
  • On November 8, a pipeline contractor's ditching machine hit a 4 inch propane gathering line, in Sterling City, Texas. Propane under 500 psi escaped. Three hours later, a superintendent of the contractor attempted to start his pick up truck, located 650 feet from the leak. The starter of the truck ignited the propane, and the superintendent was severely burned, dying 40 days later. About 64,000 gallons of propane were lost or burned. No maps of the location of the pipeline ruptured were given to the contractor.[57]
  • A natural gas transmission pipeline exploded in West Monroe, Louisiana on November 11, causing 3 subdivisions to be evacuated, and creating a crater 70 feet wide and 20 feet deep. There were no injuries. A gas pipeline explosion had taken place nearby 8 years before.[110][111]
  • A 12-inch Amoco pipeline broke on December 11, near Waverly, Missouri, spilling about 8,400 gallons of crude oil. Temperature changes were blamed for the joint failure on the pipeline.[112]
  • On December 16, military police at Marine Corps Base Quantico discovered fuel oil leaking into the Potomac River, near Chopawamsic Island. A leaking Plantation Pipeline 12 inch pipeline was the source, spilling between 5,000 and 10,000 gallons of fuel oil.[113]



  • 1980 On January 2, crude oil leaked from a fractured 22-inch pipeline, at a levee crossing, in Berwick, Louisiana. At 9:54 a.m., the crude oil ignited. One person was killed, one person was injured, and six homes were either destroyed, or, damaged. The pipeline's monitoring system failed to detect a loss of over 1,800 barrels (290 m3) of oil. A defective sleeve weld cause the pipeline to fail.[114]
  • 1980 On January 30, an 8-inch refined petroleum products pipeline, owned by The Pipelines of Puerto Rico, Inc., was struck and ruptured by a bulldozer, during maintenance work on a nearby waterline, in the Sector Cana of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of San Juan. Gasoline from the rupture sprayed downhill, and ran off into a small creek. About 1 1/2 hours later, the gasoline vapors were ignited by an undetermined source and exploded; the subsequent fire killed one person and extensively damaged 25 houses and other property.[115]
  • 1980 On February 21, an explosion and fire destroyed four stores in a shopping complex and severely damaged an adjoining restaurant in Cordele, Georgia. Of the eight persons who were injured, three died later as a result of their injuries. Property damage was extensive. The NTSB investigation of the accident has revealed that natural gas leaked from a 1-inch steel service line, which had been pulled from a 1-inch compression coupling from a backhoe working in the area, and migrated under a concrete slab floor and into a jewelry store where it was ignited by an unknown source.[116]
  • 1980 A Colonial Pipeline Dispatcher ignored established procedures for dealing with a pressure surge, causing a double rupture of a 32-inch steel petroleum products pipeline on March 6. One break, where the pipe had been thinned by corrosion in a casing under a road, caused the release of 8,000 barrels (1,300 m3) of aviation-grade kerosene adjacent to route 234 near Manassas, Virginia. Before being fully contained, the kerosene had flowed into Bull Run River, and had entered the Occoquan Reservoir, a source of drinking water for several northern Virginia communities. The other break, where a crack in the pipe wall initiated during rail shipment of the pipe from the steel mill finally propagated to failure, caused the release of 2,190 barrels (348 m3) of No. 2 fuel oil near Locust Grove, a rural area in Orange County, near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Before being fully contained, the fuel oil had flowed into the Rapidan River and then into the Rappahannock River, a source of drinking water for the City of Fredericksburg.[90][117]
  • 1980 Sabotage during a labor strike was suspected in a gasoline pipeline explosion in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania on March 7. The following fire burned for about 17 hours.[118][119]
  • 1980 On April 16, gasoline at a Williams Companies pipeline terminal in Roseville, Minnesota, sprayed from the fractured cast-iron base of a station booster pump at 72 psig pressure, vaporized, and exploded after it was ignited by the spark of an electric switch in the mainline pump control room 50 feet (15 m) downwind of the booster pump. One man was killed, 3 others injured, and extensive damage was done to the terminal. About 3,500 barrels (560 m3) of petroleum products burned and property damage was estimated at $3 million.[120][121]
  • 1980 On May 27, near Cartwright, Louisiana, an anhydrous ammonia pipeline was struck by a bulldozer, which was being used to prepare a well site, and the pipeline ruptured. Over 100 people were evacuated from the area.[122]
  • 1980 On July 23, a Tennessee Gas Pipeline 30 inch line burst in Clay City, Kentucky, spraying dirt and rocks in the area, damaging 2 homes. There was no fire.[123]
  • 1980 A road grader ruptured an NGL pipeline in Aurora, Colorado on August 11. Firefighters had barely evacuated residents in the area when the vapors exploded, burning one firefighter.[124]
  • 1980 On September 3, a Mid-Valley Pipeline Co. line was ruptured by pipeline work, in Cygnet, Ohio. Efforts to contain the crude were unable to prevent some of it from entering the Portage River.[125]
  • 1980 An oil pipeline ruptured and burned while it was being repaired at an oil storage Terminal in Piney Point, Maryland on September 12, 1980. One worker was killed, and 5 others injured in the fire.[126]
  • 1980 On October 9, a 2-inch compression coupling located on the upstream side of a gas meter set assembly in the boiler room of the Simon Kenton High School in Independence, Kentucky, pulled out of its connection with a 2-inch gas service line. Natural gas at 165-psig pressure escaped through the 2-inch opening and, seconds later, exploded and burned. A basement wall was blown down, an adjacent classroom was damaged, and one student was killed. About 30 minutes later, a second explosion occurred, which injured 37 persons and extensively damaged the school. The gas main was being uprated at the time.[127]
  • 1980 A bulldozer digging a ditch for a new pipeline hit a 16-inch crude oil pipeline near San Ysidro, New Mexico on October 22. The operator was fatally burned.[128]
  • 1980 On November 17, a one-inch connector on a sour gas gathering pipeline broke near Malakoff, Texas. 12 families were evacuated for a time.[129]
  • 1980 A pipeline carrying naphtha ruptured under a street in Long Beach, California, causing a fire that destroyed one home and damaged several others. Two people were injured. Lack of communication of pipeline valve setups, and pressure relief valves set to open at too high a pressure were identified by the NTSB as causes of the accident. (December 1, 1980)[130][131]
  • 1980 A dirt pan machine being used for road construction hit a propane pipeline in Sumner, Georgia on December 10, causing slight injuries to the dirt pan operator. US Highway 82 and a rail line were closed, and several families evacuated until the vapors dispersed. There was no fire.[132]
  • 1980 On December 22, a pipeline carrying jet fuel ruptured in Las Vegas, Nevada, spilling fuel for 2 hours. Later, the fuel ignited, forcing road closures. One firefighters was overcome by fumes. Between 50,000 and 100,000 US gallons (380,000 L) of jet fuel were spilled. Prior construction in the area was suspected of damaging the pipeline.[133]
  • 1980 A Southern California Edison pipeline ruptured in Carson, California on December 23, spilling about 105,000 gallons of crude oil, with some of it reaching the Dominguez Channel.[134]
  • 1980 A natural gas pipeline exploded and burned at a gas plant in Ulysses, Kansas on December 28. There were no injuries[135]


  • 1981 A valve on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System broke on January 1, releasing 42,000 gallons of crude oil 115 miles south of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.[136][137]
  • 1981 On January 5, a gas transmission pipeline exploded and burned in Laingsburg, Michigan, causing a large fire. About a dozen homes nearby were evacuated. There were no injuries.[138]
  • 1981 On February 13, construction workers severed an ethylene pipeline near Beaumont, Texas, which then exploded and burned. Three people were injured.[139]
  • 1981 On April 16, an explosion & fire in a gas feeder line to an underground gas storage facility in Columbus Junction, Iowa burned down a barn, and damaged other buildings. This was the second explosion at the facility in just over a week, and, the fifth explosion there in 6 years.[140]
  • 1981 An ammonia pipeline leaked near Hutchinson, Kansas on July 31, injuring 5 people, including 3 children at a Bible Camp. A 2-mile (3.2 km) radius from the leak was evacuated, including 90 from the Bible Camp.[141]
  • 1981 On August 25, in downtown San Francisco, California, a 16-inch natural gas main was punctured by a drill that an excavation contractor was using. Escaping natural gas blew upward and carried into the Embarcadero Complex and other nearby buildings. There was no ignition; however, the gas stream entrained an oil containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). Fall-out affected an eight-square-block area of the city's financial district covering buildings, cars, trees, pedestrians, police, and firemen. Approximately 30,000 persons were safely evacuated from the area in 45 minutes. No one was killed or seriously injured, although many persons were sprayed with the PCB oil mist. There were delays in shutting down the gas, due to inaccurate diagrams.[142]
  • 1981 On September 4, a drilling rig, operated by a crew core-drilling for coal, near Belle, West Virginia, punctured a 12-inch gas transmission line. The pipeline was operating at a pressure of 600 psig. The rig operator was injured, the rig and a truck were destroyed, and an estimated volume of 3,433,000 cubic feet of gas was lost.[143]
  • 1981 On September 15, during routine maintenance, a pipeline exploded and burned between a gas plant and a petroleum plant in Goldsmith, Texas. While workers were fighting the fire, another part of the pipeline burst and burned. 6 workers were burned, and another had other injuries. There were a total of 7 fires from 7 pipeline ruptures.[144][145]
  • 1981 A 12-inch diameter pipeline, near Ackerly, Texas, was hit by a rathole drill on September 27, releasing an ethane-propane mix. There was then an explosion & fire that killed 4 people.[146]
  • 1981 On November 30, at Flatwoods, West Virginia, gas leaking into a test section of a 26-inch gas transmission pipeline, ignited while a welder engaged in installing an end cap on the east end of a 180-foot (55 m)-long section of pipe. The resultant explosion blew off-the end cap, which struck and killed the welder's helper.[147]
  • 1981 On December 5, hunters near Yutan, Nebraska tried out a new high power rifle by shooting what they thought was a log in a creek bed. The log was actually an LPG pipeline, and 12 to 16 families needed to be evacuated for their safety from the resulting vapor cloud. There was no fire.[148]
  • 1981 On December 9, a pipeline carrying gasoline ruptured near Joliet, Illinois, spilling 30,000 US gallons (110,000 L) of gasoline into the Des Plaines River.[149]
  • 1981 A 20-inch gas pipeline in Ottawa, Kansas caused 2 explosions, and a raging fire, that destroyed 2 mobile homes on December 31. There were no injuries reported.[150][151]


  • 1982 On January 1, a gas pipeline exploded and burned in Ottawa, Kansas, destroying 2 mobile homes. There were no injuries.[152]
  • 1982 On January 28 at Centralia, Missouri, natural gas at 47 psig entered a low pressure distribution system which normally operated at 0.40 psig after a backhoe bucket snagged, ruptured, and separated a 3/4-inch steel pressure regulator control line at a regulator station. The backhoe, owned and operated by the city of Centralia, was being used to clean a ditch located adjacent to the pressure regulator station. The high-pressure gas entering customer piping systems in some cases resulted in high pilot light flames which ignited fires in buildings; while in other cases, the pilot light flames were blown out, allowing gas to escape within the buildings. Of the 167 buildings affected by the overpressure, 12 were destroyed and 32 hadd moderate to heavy damages. Five persons received minor injuries.[153]
  • 1982 On March 19, a leaking 3 inch Amoco pipeline was discovered in a park in Salt Lake City, Utah. 1,500 square feet of sod near a soccer field was contaminated by oil, and had to be disposed of as toxic waste.[154]
  • 1982 A Mobil LPG pipeline was ruptured by road construction in North Richland Hills, Texas on April 16. 800 to 1,000 nearby residents were evacuated. There was no fire. The construction crew workers said the pipeline was 5 feet (1.5 m) away from where it was shown on a map they were using.[155]
  • 1982 A backhoe ruptured a 2-inch gas pipeline in three places in Tacoma, Washington, causing evacuations. There was no fire or explosion.[156]
  • 1982 On May 14, a bulldozer hit a gas pipeline while digging a reserve pit for an oil well near Rush Springs, Oklahoma, causing a gas fire that injured 9 workers.
  • 1982 On May 18, Sunoco pipeline crews were digging to find their 12-inch pipeline, when they hit it, causing a rupture, and spilling gasoline east of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Over 20,000 gallons of gasoline were spilled.[157]
  • 1982 A bulldozer hit a Colonial Pipeline 12-inch petroleum products pipeline near Albany, Georgia on June 15, spraying the area with fuel oil, which then ignited, resulting in burns that later killed the bulldozer operator. No one had called for a locate of the pipeline before the bulldozer work.[158]
  • 1982 On June 28, a natural gas explosion demolished a house, killed five persons, and critically injured one person in Portales, New Mexico; the critically injured person died later at a burn treatment center. The gas service line to the house had been damaged 37 days earlier when a contractor's backhoe pulled up the line during conduit excavation work for the local telephone company.[159]
  • 1982 A Tennessee Gas Pipeline was struck by a crew working on that pipeline in Prichard, West Virginia on July 28. Nine people were burned, including a family of 4 who were standing nearby. In addition, 200 feet of a nearby road was burned.[160]
  • 1982 On August 15, a Colonial Pipeline stub line failed in Floyd County, Georgia, spilling over 16,000 gallons of gasoline in the area of a subdivision. 15 families were evacuated for a time. There were no injuries.[161]
  • 1982 On September 7, natural gas at 15 psig escaping from the open ends of a 2 1/4-inch cast-iron gas main located in a deep, narrow excavation in Dublin, Georgia, was ignited by an unknown source. Four City of Dublin gas department employees who were working in the excavation were critically burned.[162]
  • 1982 A bulldozer being used for highway construction hit a Diamond Shamrock pipeline on September 10, in Roanoke, Texas, spilling unleaded gasoline. 5 miles of a nearby highway were shut down for a time.[163]
  • 1982 On September 13, a county worker hit an NGL pipeline near Leavenworth, Kansas, causing minor injuries to him when the escaping gas blew him off of the bulldozer. Several families living nearby were evacuated. There was no fire.[164]
  • 1982 On October 1, a steel plate, which had been welded by a work crew to cap temporarily the open end of a section of a 22-inch gas transmission pipeline, blew off at an initial pressure of possibly 260 psig. Escaping natural gas from the pipeline, which had accumulated due to a leak in a nearby gate valve, ignited almost immediately and the entire work area and a portion of U.S. Route 65 were momentarily engulfed in flames. Seven persons who were working to replace a section of the pipeline under the road about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, were burned.[165]
  • 1982 On October 29, a crew mechanic working on new gas service lines in Burke, Virginia, was overcome by leaking gas and died.[166]
  • 1982 On November 4, a tile plow installing field drainage tile on a farm, located 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Hudson, Iowa, struck and punctured a well-marked, 20-inch natural gas transmission pipeline. Natural gas escaping at about 820 psig ignited immediately, and the ensuing fire killed five persons.[167][168]
  • 1982 On December 8, a five-member crew was working on a gas compressor at Bonicord, Tennessee, when a gas explosion occurred. All five crew members were injured seriously, but were able to evacuate the building. One crew member died later that day, and two others died a few days later.[169]
  • 1982 A grader working on construction cut into a crude oil pipeline in Norman, Oklahoma on December 21, causing a fire that severely burned the grader operator.


  • In January 1983, a pipeline owned by Diamond Shamrock began to leak into a creek, in Lipscomb County, Texas. Before the leak was detected and the flow of oil shut down, a period of about two weeks, about 100,000 gallons of crude petroleum were discharged into a creek.[170]
  • 1983 On February 1, a corroded gas service line caused a natural gas explosion and flash fire that destroyed a house, killed two persons, and injured three persons in Pryor, Oklahoma, and damaged an adjacent house.[171]
  • 1983 A gas pipeline failed and caused a fire, with flames 250 to 300 feet (91 m) tall, near Marlow, Oklahoma on February 15. There were no injuries.[172]
  • 1983 On March 15, an 8-inch LPG pipeline was hit by a rotating auger used for planting trees near West Odessa, Texas. After several minutes, the escaping LPG at 1,060 psi ignited, killing 5 people and injuring 5 others. Flames went as high as 600 feet into the air.[173][174]
  • 1983 On March 27, a pump for a petroleum products pipeline broke, causing up to 420,000 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into the Bowie River in Collins, Mississippi.[175][176]
  • 1983 30 to 40 homes were advised to evacuate for several hours in Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania on May 1, after a Mobil pipeline leaked gasoline.[177]
  • 1983 On May 6, a gas pipeline broke, forcing 100 people to evacuate in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.[178]
  • 1983 A 36-inch gas transmission pipeline exploded and burned in Caldwell, Ohio on May 21, destroying two homes, burning 100 acres of vegetation, and closing nearby Interstate 77. There were three minor injuries.[179]
  • 1983 On June 4, a front loader accidentally dug into the 10-inch Yellowstone Pipeline petroleum line near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, spilling over 20,000 US gallons (76,000 L) of unleaded gasoline into a creek, killing everything downstream for 3 miles.[180]
  • 1983 A 16-inch gas pipeline ruptures and burned near Athens, Texas, on July 19. A nearby section of the same pipeline had ruptured the year before.[181]
  • East Boston gas surge: On September 23, gas service pressure surged up in a section of Boston, Massachusetts. 3 major structure fires, numerous smaller fires, and an explosion at a restaurant followed. There was no serious injuries. A flooded gas regulator vault was the cause.[182]
  • 1983 On October 10, a bulldozer ruptured a gas pipeline serving the Lake Park, Iowa area, causing gas supply shortages in the area. There were no injuries.[183]
  • 1983 18 people inside a supermarket in South Charleston, West Virginia on October 17 were hurt, when gas from a leaking Columbia Gas line exploded. One Columbia Gas worker was also hurt. The lack of communication from the Columbia crew working on the gas line to the store Manager was cited as a contributing factor.[184]
  • 1983 A Mid-Vally crude oil pipeline exploded and burned, at a pipeline terminal, in Lima, Ohio on December 25. The fire spread to a holding tank, forcing nearby residents to evacuate.[185]


  • 1984 On January 15, a leak was discovered in an 8-inch pipeline belonging to Plantation Pipeline in Floyd County, Georgia. Over 300 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel had spilled into creek. A hayfield nearby was also damaged.[186]
  • 1984 An 8-inch NGL pipeline near Hurst, Texas, was hit by a front loader, and the escaping gases ignited, causing burns to the equipment operator. (February 28, 1984)[187]
  • 1984 On March 25, a resident in Missouri City, Texas discovered gasoline leaking from an 8-inch Exxon products pipeline. About 1,000 residents in the area were evacuated for a time, and, some of the gasoline entered a nearby creek.[188]
  • 1984 On March 27, a pipeline rupture destroyed a home, and, damaged 4 other buildings, in Mont Belvieu, Texas[189]
  • 1984 On April 24, a contractor installing plastic drainage pipe on a farm near Rock Rapids, Iowa hit a petroleum products pipeline, spilling about 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel.[190]
  • 1984 On June 19, six employees of a contractor working for Washington Gas Light Company (WGL) in Rockville, Maryland, were using mechanical saws to cut a section of 22-inch steel pipeline when residual gas at atmospheric pressure in the isolated section of the pipeline was ignited. A flash fire ensued, and four contractor employees who were operating the saws and a WGL superintendent were burned.[191]
  • On August 14, a Plantation Pipeline line leaked near Ladysmith, Virginia, creating a gasoline mist in the area.[192]
  • 1984 Two natural gas pipelines exploded and burned near Falls City, Texas.[193]
  • 1984 On September 24, a failed gas main of ABS plastic caused an explosion and fire in Phoenix, Arizona. 5 people died and 7 others injured in the accident. Liquid in the pipe had caused it to break down.[194]
  • 1984 A tugboat hit and ruptured a gas pipeline on the Houston Ship Channel on October 16. There were no injuries, but the Channel was closed for a time.[195]
  • 1984 Fast moving water in the Cado Creek near Durant, Oklahoma led to 2 pipelines being ruptured on October 27 & 28. One pipeline was owned by Mobil, the other pipeline was owned by Total S.A.. About 1,500 barrels (240 m3) of petroleum were spilled.[196]
  • 1984 A Williams Companies 6 inch pipeline ruptured on November 18 in New Brighton, Minnesota, causing a spill of 40,000 to 50,000 gallons of jet fuel in an industrial area. There were no injuries.[197]
  • 1984 On November 25, a 30-inch gas transmission pipeline, constructed in 1955 and operating at 1,000 psig pressure, ruptured at a location about three miles (5 km) west of Jackson, Louisiana. Gas blowing from the rupture fractured the pipe into many pieces and created a hole in the earth about 90 feet (27 m) long, 25 feet (7.6 m) wide, and 10 feet (3.0 m) deep. The escaping gas was quickly ignited by one of several potential sources of ignition. The resulting fire incinerated an area extending from the rupture about 950 feet (290 m) north, 500 feet (150 m) south, and 180 feet (55 m) to the east and to the west. Within this sparsely populated area, five persons involved with the pipeline construction work were killed, and 23 persons were injured. Additionally, several pieces of construction equipment were damaged extensively. Lack of proper ground support under the pipeline when a nearby section of that pipeline was upgraded and replaced was identified as a factor in the failure.[198][199][200]


  • 1985 Natural gas from a leaking line traveled through soil, and caused a massive gas explosion in El Paso, Texas on January 8. Eleven people were injured, 2 homes were destroyed, and 88 other homes were damaged by the blast.[201]
  • 1985 On January 26, a leaking propylene pipeline in Baytown, Texas forced the evacuation of 600 people. There was no explosion or fire.[202]
  • 1985 On February 5, a gas triggered explosion and fire destroyed 12 newly constructed condominiums in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. A cracked gas main was the source of the gas leak, and nearby sewer work was suspected of damaging the gas line. Two firefighters were hurt extinguishing the fire.[203]
  • 1985 On February 22, 1985, a police patrolman on routine patrol smelled strong natural gas odors in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. A gas serviceman was ordered to the scene. Before the serviceman arrived at the site of the reported leak, the Sharpsville Inn, and a connecting building, exploded and burned, killing two persons. Firefighters arriving on scene moments later encountered a second, smaller explosion, which injured one firefighter. The delay in the gas serviceman getting to the incident was a contributing factor.[204]
  • 1985 On April 5, lightning caused a computer malfunction with Colonial Pipeline, resulting in a pipeline rupture that sent at least 126,000 gallons of gasoline into the Yellow Leaf Creek in Talladega County, Alabama.[205][206]
  • 1985 On April 18, fumes from an NGL pipeline, under repair near Baxter Pass, Colorado, killed one pipeline repair worker, & injured 9 others. During a lawsuit dealing with this accidents, it was claimed "The "safety" procedures used were crude at best, as the workers without lifelines were directed to hold their breath and go down into the ditch for about 30 seconds to work, before coming back out of the ditch for air."[207][208]
  • 1985 A 30-inch diameter gas pipeline operating at about 960 psi, weakened by atmospheric corrosion, ruptured, and tore out about 29 feet (8.8 m) of the carrier pipe, blew apart about 16 feet (4.9 m) of a 36-inch casing pipe, blasted an opening across Kentucky State Highway 90, and cut out a pear-shaped crater approximately 90 feet (27 m) long, 38 feet (12 m) wide, and 12 feet (3.7 m) deep near Beaumont, Kentucky. 5 people were killed in one home, and 3 injured. The fireball from the incident could be seen 20 miles away.(April 27, 1985)[209][210]
  • 1985 On May 10, a Mohave County, Arizona road crew hit a 2-inch gas pipeline while reinstalling a fallen stop sign, in Butler, Arizona. During repairs to the gas line, a flash fire ignited, injuring 2 fire fighters, and a Southern Union Gas Co. worker.[211]
  • 1985 Workers on the extension of the North Dallas Tollway ruptured a 12-inch gasoline pipeline on June 19, causing a massive gasoline spill along a creek bed north of Dallas, Texas. The gasoline later ignited. One person had moderate injuries, several office buildings were damaged by fire, and some automobiles were damaged.[212]
  • 1985 On June 20, a telephone cable installing crew broke a 10 gas gathering pipeline, in Paradise, Texas, releasing gas, that ignited 20 seconds later. There were no injuries.[213]
  • 1985 On July 23, in a rural area about 8 miles (13 km) south of Kaycee, Wyoming, a girth weld cracked during a pipeline re-coating project on a 23-year-old, 8-inch pipeline. The cracked girth weld allowed the release, atomization of, and ignition of aircraft turbine fuel under 430 pounds pressure, killing one person, burning six other persons, and destroying construction equipment.[214][215][216]
  • 1985 A gasoline leak of up to 42,000 US gallons (160,000 L) from a ruptured 10-inch pipeline ignited, on August, 2 in Indianapolis, Indiana, causing a 200-foot (61 m) high fireball that killed three people, and injured 3 others working to clean up the spill along a creek.[217][218]
  • 1985 On August 22, a vessel was being filled with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), when it burst, leading to a flash fire that burned 6 people, at a gas facility in Pinson, Alabama.[198]
  • 1985 On September 23, a 12-inch diameter gasoline pipeline fitting was hit by a backhoe, and sprayed about 35,000 US gallons (130,000 L) of gasoline 45 feet (14 m) into the air in Staten Island, New York. There were evacuations, but no fire.[219]
  • 1985 A Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. natural gas pipeline exploded near Hillsboro in Fleming County, Kentucky on October 26. There were two injuries reported.

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Indiana’s natural gas distribution pipeline system is a network of more than 40,000 miles of pipe that supplies homes, businesses, and communities with energy. In 2013, many of these pipes were reaching the end of their service life. Approximately 30 percent—or more than 12,000 miles—of the state’s existing distribution pipeline was installed in 1969 or earlier, and will be more than 50 years old if still in use in 2020.1 These percentages appear in line with the age of distribution pipes nationwide.

Residents of Indiana have felt firsthand the impacts of the state’s aging natural gas distribution pipelines. For example, in November of 2002, leaks in a natural gas pipe caused explosions that destroyed three homes and injured at least four people in Lafayette. Years later, in May of 2011, a natural gas pipeline near Rockville exploded and caught fire. While no injuries were reported, 49 homes were evacuated within a one-mile area of the explosion. After the fire, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) indicated the possibility of external corrosion in a Corrective Action Order to the pipeline company.

As part of a state-focused education and outreach project conducted throughout 2014 and 2015, the BlueGreen Alliance convened stakeholder meetings and public forums to build on existing knowledge and engage frontline gas sector workers, environmental groups, industry, and additional community stakeholders to identify challenges and opportunities facing the network of natural gas distribution pipelines in the state of Indiana.

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