Aerial view of the Indian Camp Subdivision overlaid on Google Earth image.

Aerial view of the Indian Camp Subdivision overlaid on Google Earth image.​​

Enbridge Inc. Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Rupture and Fire

What Happened

On August 1, 2019, at 1:23 a.m. local time, an Enbridge Inc. 30-inch natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured in Danville, Kentucky, releasing about 101.5 million cubic feet of natural gas that ignited. The accident resulted in 1 fatality, 6 injuries, and the evacuation of over 75 people. Five residences were destroyed by resulting structure fires, and an additional 14 were damaged. A nearby railroad track was also damaged, and over 30 acres of land were burned. At 1:26 a.m., numerous local emergency response agencies were dispatched to the accident; the Lincoln County Fire Protection District was the first to arrive at 1:37 a.m. The fire department and other emergency responders focused on evacuations and medical transport while Enbridge crews worked to isolate and shut down the pipeline. At 2:19 a.m., the ruptured pipeline segment was isolated. By 4:13 a.m., all fire suppression activities had concluded. ​

What We Found

​​​The probable cause of the August 1, 2019, Enbridge Inc. pipeline rupture and resulting fire was the combination of a pre-existing hard spot (a manufacturing defect), degraded coating, and ineffective cathodic protection applied following a 2014 gas flow reversal project, which resulted in hydrogen induced cracking at the outer surface of Line 15 and the subsequent failure of the pipeline. Contributing to the accident was the 2014 gas flow reversal project that increased external corrosion and hydrogen evolution. Also contributing to this accident was Enbridge’s integrity management program, which did not accurately assess the integrity of the pipeline or estimate the risk from interacting threats.