Fire/Explosion Protection

One Dead, Track Hoe To Blame For Pipeline Explosion

By Chemical Processing Staff

Nov 02, 2016

A machine used to remove dirt is blamed in the pipeline explosion that killed one worker and injured five others at the Colonial Pipeline site in Alabama. The explosion on Oct. 31 sent flames and thick black smoke soaring over a forest in northern Alabama.

According to an article from the Associated Press, a September leak that spilled 252,000 to 336,000 gallons of gasoline occurred not far from the location of Monday's explosion.

An article from Fortune notes that Colonial executive Gerald Beck said the crew was putting in a valve in order to finish repairs related to September’s leak. Beck said the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration currently has control of the site. The fire is still burning, and Colonial expects to be able to get into the site in the next day or two—and from there, determine how long a repair will take.

Colonial Pipeline, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, operates 5,599 miles of pipelines, transporting more than 100 million gallons daily of gasoline, jet fuel, home heating oil and other hazardous liquids in 13 states and the District of Columbia, according to company filings. Authorities have not said which type of fuel was involved in the explosion Monday.

Read the Associated Press story here and the Fortune story here.