Pipeline Accident Brief - Anhydrous Ammonia Pipeline Rupture Near

Kingman, Kansas
October 27, 2004

NTSB Number: PAB-07-02
Adopted: June 14, 2007
PDF

The Accident

About 11:15 a.m. central daylight time on October 27, 2004, an 8-inch-diameter pipeline owned by Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P., (Magellan) and operated by Enterprise Products Operating L.P. (Enterprise) ruptured near Kingman, Kansas, and released approximately 4,858 barrels (204,000 gallons) of anhydrous ammonia. Nobody was killed or injured due to the release. The anhydrous ammonia leaked into a creek and killed more than 25,000 fish including some from threatened species. The cost of the accident was $680,715, including $459,415 for environmental remediation.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the pipeline rupture near Kingman, Kansas, on October 27, 2004, was a pipe gouge created by heavy equipment damage to the pipeline during construction in 1973 or subsequent excavation activity at an unknown time that initiated metal fatigue cracking and led to the eventual rupture of the pipeline. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the pipeline controller's failure to accurately evaluate available operating data and initiate a timely shutdown of the pipeline.

Recommendations

As a result of its investigation of the October 27, 2004, anhydrous ammonia pipeline accident, the National Transportation Safety Board makes the safety recommendations listed below. For more information about these recommendations, see the safety recommendation letters 16 to the recipients.

To the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

Require in 49 Code of Federal Regulations 195.52 that a pipeline operator must have a procedure to calculate and provide a reasonable initial estimate of released product in the telephonic report to the National Response Center. (P-07-7)

Require in 49 Code of Federal Regulations 195.52 that a pipeline operator must provide an additional telephonic report to the National Response Center if significant new information becomes available during the emergency response. (P-07-8)

Require an operator to revise its pipeline risk assessment plan whenever it has failed to consider one or more risk factors that can affect pipeline integrity. (P-07-9)

To Enterprise Products Operating L.P.:

Provide initial and recurrent training for all controllers that includes simulator or noncomputerized simulations of abnormal operating conditions that indicate pipeline leaks. (P-07-10)