Pipeline Accident Investigation

Investigation Details

What Happened

On December 11, 2012, at 12:41 p.m. eastern standard time, a buried 20-inch-diameter interstate natural gas transmission pipeline, owned and operated by Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation, ruptured in a sparsely populated area, about 106 feet west of Interstate 77 near Route 21 and Derricks Creek Road, in Sissonville, West Virginia. About 20 feet of pipe was separated and ejected from the underground pipeline and landed more than 40 feet from its original location. The escaping high-pressure natural gas ignited immediately. An area of fire damage about 820 feet wide extended nearly 1,100 feet along the pipeline right-of-way. Three houses were destroyed by the fire, and several other houses were damaged. There were no fatalities or serious injuries. About 76 million standard cubic feet of natural gas was released and burned. Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation reported the cost of pipeline repair was $2.9 million, the cost of system upgrades to accommodate in-line inspection was $5.5 million, and the cost of gas loss was $285,000.