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NTSB ID: DCA10MP007

Event Type: Pipeline Accident

Location: Marshall, MI

Date: July 25, 2010


Crude Oil Pipeline Rupture and Spill

On the evening of Sunday, July 25 2010, at about 5:58 p.m. EDT, a 40-foot long pipe segment in Line 6B, located approximately 0.6 of a miles downstream of the Marshall, Michigan pump station, ruptured. The Line 6B is owned and operated by the Enbridge Energy Inc. (Enbridge). The Enbridge control center in Edmonton, Alberta Canada was in the final stages of executing a scheduled shutdown of their 30-inch diameter crude oil pipeline (Line 6B) when the rupture occurred.

The initial and subsequent alarms associated with the rupture were not recognized as a line-break through two start-up attempts and over multiple control center shifts. Residents near the rupture site began calling the Marshall City 911 dispatch center to report odors at 9:25 p.m. on Sunday; however, no calls were placed to the Enbridge control center until 11:17 a.m. the following day. Once the Enbridge control center was notified, nearly 17-hours after the initial rupture, remote controlled valves were closed, bracketing the ruptured segment within a three-mile section.

The accident resulted in an Enbridge reported release estimate of 20,082 barrels (843,444 gallons) of crude oil with no injuries or fatalities. The rupture location is in a high consequence area within a mostly rural, wet, and low-lying region. The released oil pooled into a marshy area over the rupture site before flowing 700 feet south into Talmadge creek which ultimately carried it into the Kalamazoo River.

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