Energy & Environment
12:35 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

NTSB Determines Cause of December 2012 Sissonville Pipeline Explosion

Credit National Transportation Safety Board

Federal investigators have determined the cause of a Colombia Gas Transmission pipeline explosion in West Virginia in December 2012.

In a report released Monday, the National Transportation Safety Board said the explosion was caused by external corrosion and a lack of recent inspections. The agency said the corrosion could have been discovered by the pipeline operator.

On December 11, 2012, a 20-inch high-pressure natural gas pipeline running through Sissonville, West Virginia ruptured with so much force that a 20-foot-long segment of pipe was thrown more than 40 feet from where it had been buried.

The released natural gas ignited and burned so hot that it charred 800 feet of roadway along nearby Interstate 77, destroyed three homes, and melted the siding on houses hundreds of feet from the rupture site.