NTSB releases details of investigation into pipeline explosion in Sissonville
MetroNews staff photo
NTSB releases details of investigation into pipeline explosion in Sissonville

SISSONVILLE, W. Va.– New details are being released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about a six month long investigation into a massive pipeline explosion that rocked Sissonville.

On Thursday, federal investigators released around 1,400 pages of documents regarding the December 11, 2012 natural gas pipeline explosion that left three homes in ruins and heavily damaged a portion of I-77. No deaths resulted from the explosion.

Within the documents were contained interviews, photos and facts collected during the ongoing investigation.

Since the explosion, NTSB officials have been interviewing Columbia Gas workers regarding what happened.

The documents stated that recorded interviews with Columbia officials show they knew they had a problem once the alarm went off, but they did not know exactly what was going on.

One Columbia Gas employee told investigators it took them about 20 minutes to figure out the area where the rupture occurred, and more than 30 minutes to figure out which valve needed to be turned off.

Overall, it took almost an hour to stop the gas flow in the ruptured pipe and in turn stop the flames.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission has released several pages of violations by Columbia Gas.

There were several found in the Sissonville area including failure to inspect valves and failure to take steps to prevent accidental ignition.

The initial investigation into the incident revealed that the ruptured pipe was installed in 1967, and was heavily corroded.

Not mentioned in the documents was the exact cause of the explosion.

The final conclusion and any determination of fault will come later.

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