pipeline Accident Report

Pipeline Rupture and Release of Fuel Oil into the Reedy River

Fork Shoals, South Carolina
June 26, 1996

NTSB Number PAR-98/01
NTIS Number PB98-916502
Adopted November 4, 1998
PDF


Executive Summary

About 11:54 p.m. eastern daylight time on June 26, 1996, a 36-inch-diameter Colonial Pipeline Company pipeline ruptured where a corroded section of the pipeline crossed the Reedy River at Fork Shoals, South Carolina. The ruptured pipeline released about 957,600 gallons of fuel oil into the Reedy River and surrounding areas. The estimated cost to Colonial for cleanup and settlement with the State of South Carolina was $20.5 million. No one was injured in the accident.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the rupture of the corrosion-weakened pipeline at the Reedy River crossing was the failure of Colonial Pipeline Company (1) to have adequate management controls in place to protect the corroded pipeline at the Reedy River crossing; and (2) to ensure that pipeline controllers were adequately trained to both recognize and respond properly to operational emergencies, abnormal conditions, and pipeline leaks.

The major safety issues addressed in the report are as follows:

As a result of its investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board makes safety recommendations to the Research and Special Programs Administration and to Colonial Pipeline Company.