Tag Archives: NTSB

We were told to shut up or quit –Spectra Energy whistleblowers

Even Spectra workers sometimes develop a conscience. These whistleblowers are not the first, and thirty years of Spectra’s sordid safety record agrees with them. Tonight you can help stop Spectra from drilling under the Suwannee River in Florida, and that will help stop Spectra in Burrillville, Rhode Island.

Steve Ahlquist, RI Future.org, 30 November 2015, Former inspectors allege safety issues with Spectra pipeline project,

Two safety inspectors who worked on Spectra Energy’s proposed methane gas pipeline that will cut through Burrillville, RI, say the company cut corners when it came to project, worker and environmental safety.

“Right now, what they’re hoping to do, is they’re hoping to slam all this through, and then at the end ask for forgiveness,” said one of the former inspectors. “Oops, sorry about that, I didn’t know, let me write you a check. Because once this thing’s turning meter, they’re going to be making millions of dollars a day. It doesn’t matter what your problems are…”

The other added, “We were told to shut the fuck up or quit.”

Both men, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, were subcontracted by Spectra and both were Continue reading We were told to shut up or quit –Spectra Energy whistleblowers

Pipelines don’t age, and we have no idea why Transco blew up (again) –Williams Co.

How do they say these things with a straight face?

Although the pipeline that ruptured was at least 4 decades old, company officials say pipelines don’t age —

Sure and their bathrooms don’t require air vents, because they don’t stink.

…and its maintained according to federal standards.

As in the standards the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA) told Williams Co. to follow back in September 2012, before fining it for not doing so? The PHMSA standards that are so poor that Continue reading Pipelines don’t age, and we have no idea why Transco blew up (again) –Williams Co.

NTSB tells PHMSA to fix its horrible pipeline safety methods

Tired of reporting on explosions unprevented by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). just issued a damning set of recommendations to PHMSA, plus to an alphabet soup of other organizations to ride herd on PHMSA to try to get some improvement. How about instead we stop building new pipelines and get on with solar power?

NTSB said its motivation was three recent explosions it reported: the 2009 Palm City, Florida flying pipeline that almost hit a high school, the 2010 San Bruno, California PG&E Pipeline Rupture and Fire, and the 2012 Sissonville, West Virginia I-75 house destruction, about which NTSB said:

These three accidents resulted in 8 fatalities, over 50 injuries, and 41 homes destroyed with many more damaged.

And NTSB reporting on PHMSA’s failures goes back way farther than that, Continue reading NTSB tells PHMSA to fix its horrible pipeline safety methods

My son was killed in a pipeline explosion –Paul W. McCorkle

A comment on Other Hazards 30 June 2014:

My son was killed in a pipeline explosion 7-5-10. There are many old lines that are only a few inches in the ground, because of years because of top cover erosion. A shallow covered gas line is more dangerous than an exposed one!!! This was the case of my accident. After the accident, several lines in my immediate area were found to be totally exposed!!! What about the ones that are not covered to the proper depth and are seldom inspected. The federal pipeline administration is a joke. They have no idea how to do their own investigation, the rely on the pipeline companies to tell them what happened or what to do. As it has been said, THE PIPELINE COMPANIES ARE FUNDING TO MUCH MONEY TO THE AGENCIES THAT REGULATE THEM.

Paul W. McCorkle

For those who have not heard about that very unfortunate event, WDRW.com wrote 5 July 2010, Continue reading My son was killed in a pipeline explosion –Paul W. McCorkle

Williams explosion and fire, Opal, WY 2014-04-23

Fourth major incident this year for Williams, this time in Wyoming. Yet again locals and their local and state governments were left to pick up the tab, and the cause is still “under investigation”.

Ryan Parker wrote for the Denver Post 23 April 2014, Wyoming town evacuated after gas plant explosion,

There was an explosion followed by a fire Wednesday afternoon at the Williams Gas Plant near Opal, Wyo..

The entire town of Opal was evacuated Continue reading Williams explosion and fire, Opal, WY 2014-04-23

Thirty years after Spectra’s Beaumont, KY explosion little has changed

Spectra is related to this from 13 February 2014 MASSIVE BLAST in KY-60 foot crater-3 houses two barns destroyed, 30 foot section of 30″ pipe thrown 300 feet. It was partly about Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern pipeline, almost 30 years and about 30 miles from a very similar Texas Eastern explosion in 1985.

Mark Boxley, wrote for The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal 13 February 2014, Ky. gas line explosion injures 2; homes evacuated,

Two homes were destroyed, 20 residences were evacuated and two people received non-life threatening injuries early Thursday in Adair County after a natural gas transportation line exploded, leaving a 60-foot crater near Highway 76 in Knifley.

The first call came in at about 2:04 a.m. EST when residents heard and felt rumbling under their feet, said Adair County Emergency Management Agency director Greg Thomas. Then came the explosion and a ball of fire, he said.

Continue reading Thirty years after Spectra’s Beaumont, KY explosion little has changed

700×500 feet incinerated, 5 dead, 3 burned: Texas Eastern Gas Pipeline 1985

Plus numerous houses and cars destroyed, all in one methane pipeline explosion in Beaumont, Kentucky in 1985. The same company, today known as Spectra Energy, had another explosion near Lancaster, Kentucky in 1986 that injured three people, two seriously, evacuated 77, and destroyed more buildings and cars, plus ripping 480 feet of pipe out of the ground.

Stu Beitler posted on GenDisasters 30 June 2010, Beaumont, KY Gas Line Explosion, Apr 1985,


Beaumont, Ky. (AP) — A natural gas line explosion killed at least five people, gouged a 20 foot deep crater and flattened six buildings in a tiny community, igniting fires that were visible 20 miles away, authorities said. At least three other people were seriously injured in the weekend blast that ripped up a section of Kentucky’s Route 90 and devastated a mile-square area, according to authorities.

Dick Brown, a spokesman for the state Department of Disaster and Emergency Services, said two houses, three mobile homes and a sawmill were destroyed in Marrowbone Hill, a settlement about a mile east of Beaumont, whose population is 60. The blast site is 90 miles south of Louisville.

A crater 100 feet long, 30 feet wide and 20 feet deep was left by the blast, which occurred about 9:30 p.m., Brown said.

Fires sparked by the explosion could be seen 20 miles away, officials said.

“It was described to me as resembling where a bomb went off,” said Bob Walter, a disaster and emergency services worker. “If you’ve ever been to Vietnam, that’s exactly what it looked like.” Three bodies were found early Sunday, and two more were discovered later in a destroyed house near the scene, officials said.

There’s more in that article.

Here’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Pipeline Accident Report Texas Eastern Gas Pipeline Company Ruptures and Fires at Beaumont, Kentucky on April 27, 1985 and Lancaster, Kentucky on February 21, 1986, NTSB/PAR-87/01, Continue reading 700×500 feet incinerated, 5 dead, 3 burned: Texas Eastern Gas Pipeline 1985

Spectra’s Durham Woods apartment fire, Edison, NJ, 1994

Children running naked into the flaming night of a Spectra pipeline fireball, thousands evacuated, hundreds made homeless, some burnt or “felled by smoke”, one woman literally scared to death, all caused by corrosion in a dent Spectra knew about years before, and NTSB says it’s up to local governments to make pipeline companies prevent it happening again.

Robert D. McFadden wrote for NYTimes 25 March 1994, EXPLOSION IN EDISON: The Overview; New Jersey Pipeline Explosion Sets Off Panic, Chaos and Fear,

A natural gas pipeline explosion that awestruck witnesses compared to a blinding, scorching nuclear blast turned a neighborhood in the central New Jersey town of Edison early yesterday into a war zone of flames, panic and chaos.

Local resident jseaton uploaded to YouTube 15 May 2006, Edison Natural Gas Explosion – Durham Woods: “This is my video footage of the gas pipeline explosion in Edison NJ (March 1994). This was taken while trying to evacuate the Durham Woods apartment complex”

Back to the NYTimes story:

Scores of residents were hurt, one death was reported and Continue reading Spectra’s Durham Woods apartment fire, Edison, NJ, 1994

Methane pipeline blew up onto Florida Turnpike next to high school

Five years ago a natural gas pipeline blew up between the Florida Turnpike and I-95, flying a 104-foot piece of 18-inch pipe through the air, shutting down both roads, and fortunately missing a high school. NTSB determined it was the fault of the pipeline operator, Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC (FGT).

Ruptured pipeline and Florida Turnpike --WPTV5

The Accident: $606,360 Damage/Clean-Up Cost FGT was written up by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in NTSB/PAB-13/01 of 13 August 2013 for “Damage/Clean-up Cost: $606,360” in this 4 May 2009 incident near Palm City, Florida:

Rupture near Palm City

Probable cause: cracking, failure to manage, SCADA failure The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was environmentally assisted cracking under a disbonded polyethylene coating that remained undetected by the integrity management program. Contributing to the accident was Florida Gas Transmission Company’s failure to include the pipe section that ruptured in the integrity management program. Contributing to the prolonged gas release was the pipeline controller’s inability to detect the rupture because of SCADA system limitations and the configuration of the pipeline.

So NTSB said it was FGT’s fault.

And Florida and Martin County taxpayers had to pay for Continue reading Methane pipeline blew up onto Florida Turnpike next to high school