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Accident Investigations

Pipeline Accident Investigation


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  • Accident No: DCA13MP003
  • Accident Type: Office of Pipeline
  • Location: Sissonville, WV
  • Date: 12/11/2012

‚ÄčOn December 11, 2012, at about 12:41 pm EST, a buried 20-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation ruptured just over 100 feet west of Interstate 77 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. Three homes were destroyed by the fire after the escaping high-pressure natural gas ignited; no one was seriously injured.

NTSB investigators Ravi Chhatre and Matthew Nicholson at initial on-site briefing for Sissonville, WV, pipeline accident.

Investigators examine diagram of pipeline specifications at accident site in Sissonville, WV.

Member Robert Sumwalt is briefed on emergency response activities by West Virginia authorities.

NTSB Investigator In Charge Ravi Chhatre coordinates initial on scene activities.

Member Robert Sumwalt views site of rupture.

NTSB investigator Matt Nicholson examines diagram of pipeline specifications.

Investigator In Charge Ravi Chhatre oversees the acquisition of on scene measurements.

Destroyed home near site of pipeline rupture.

Member Robert Sumwalt briefs media on pipeline rupture at Yager airport in Charleston, West Virginia.

A section of pipe found more than 40 feet from the rupture site.

NTSB Investigator Joseph Panagiotou documents fire and heat damage on scene.

NTSB metallurgist Donald Kramer documents information on the ruptured segment of pipe in Sissonville, West Virginia.

NTSB Investigators on scene of pipeline rupture in Sissonville, West Virginia.

NTSB metallurgist Donald Kramer on scene of pipeline rupture in Sissonville, West Virginia.

NTSB senior materials engineer Don Kramer identifies a section of pipe to be cut and removed for further examination at the NTSB's lab in Ashburn, Va.

Kramer uses a plasma cutting torch to remove the section of the pipe.

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Contact: NTSB Media Relations
Peter Knudson
(202) 314-6100
peter.knudson@ntsb.gov