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Accident Report Detail

Pipeline Rupture, Liquid Butane Release and Fire

Executive Summary

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.

Probable Cause

​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.

Accident Location: Lively , TX    
Accident Date: 8/24/1996
Accident ID: DCA96FP007

Date Adopted: 11/6/1998
NTSB Number: PAR-98-02
NTIS Number: PB98-916503