Pipeline Accident Summary Report
Pipeline Rupture, Liquid Butane Release, and Fire
Lively, Texas
August 24, 1996

NTSB Number PAR-98/02/SUM
NTIS Number PB98-916503
PDF Document (601K)

Abstract: On Saturday, August 24, 1996, about 3:26 p.m., an 8-inch-diameter steel LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) pipeline transporting liquid butane, operated by Koch Pipeline Company, LP (Koch), ruptured near Lively, Texas, sending a butane vapor cloud into a surrounding residential area. The rupture occurred under a roadway in the Oak Circle Estates subdivision.

The butane vapor ignited as two residents in a pickup truck drove into the vapor cloud. According to the sheriff’s report, they were on their way to a neighbor’s house to report the release to 911. The two people died at the accident site from thermal injuries. No other injuries were reported at that time; however, about 25 families were evacuated from Oak Circle Estates.

Koch estimated its direct pipeline losses, including the loss of product from the line, to be about $217,000. Other property losses included damage to the roadway under which the rupture occurred and damage to a pickup truck, a mobile home, several outbuildings, and adjacent woodlands.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of Koch to adequately protect its pipeline from corrosion. The major safety issues identified by this investigation are as follows:

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board issued recommendations to the Research and Special Programs Administration, Koch, and NACE International.