Shifting Land Rips Open Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 @ 10:04 AM gHale

A gas pipeline built along a hillside suffered from a shift in the earth and ruptured causing an explosion in Marshall County, WV, Saturday.

Marshall County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart said a hillside slip caused a 12-inch line owned by Williams Energy to rupture between Waymans Ridge and Middle Creek.

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“Right now they believe it may have been some sort of small landslide, a slip in the hillside that caused the pipeline to rupture. So they will, Williams, will be investigating that to see what actually caused the pipeline to rupture,” Hart said.

Hart specified the Williams Energy-owned pipeline that feeds into the Oak Grove facility was not a well fire or explosion. Within two hours the fire ended up isolated and shut down.

“It was able to burn out which actually occurred fairly quickly, within the first couple hours of the incident. If it would have been a well site incident, then we would be looking at several days to a couple weeks in order for that to be extinguished,” Hart said.

There were no injuries in the incident.

Authorities believe the moving earth could have caused the rupture, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Williams Energy released the following statement: “The cause is under investigation. Williams appreciates local first responders for their rapid response and teamwork. Williams is evaluating operations to ensure minimal impact to the customers.”

Six homes ended up evacuated as a precaution at the request of Williams. By early Sunday morning, residents got the all clear to return to their homes.

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