Columbia Gas Pipeline Explodes In West Virginia

January 2013, Vol. 240 No. 1

A 20-inch natural gas pipeline exploded near Charleston, WV Dec. 11, setting nearby buildings on fire and injuring several people, authorities said. The blast, on Nisource Gas Transmission and Storage’s Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline, occurred 1 p.m. near Sissonville, about 10 miles north of Charleston.

NiSource said the pipeline is part of its network of transmission lines that transport and deliver natural gas primarily to local utility companies. Service to those customers was not affected by the incident. Working in close coordination with local emergency responders, Columbia Gas Transmission teams isolated the damaged portion of pipeline, secured the site, and began assessing damages. The exact cause was not immediately determined.

In addition to damaging several residences and buildings, Interstate 77 was badly damaged and closed to traffic in both directions. Officials said a bridge on the interstate may have shifted from the blaze’s extreme heat.

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