A preliminary investigation report notes that “land subsidence” was the cause of a June 7th pipeline explosion near Moundsville, West Virginia, in other words, a landslide. An 83-foot section of the 36-inch diameter pipeline was “ejected from the ditch and deposited in the right of way” by the explosion and the fireball consumed approximately $430,000 worth of natural gas. Fortunately, there were no injuries or reports of private property damage. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the USDOT issued a Notice of Proposed Safety Order on July 9 that also noted that a geotechnical flyover after the explosion by the pipeline operator, TransCanada, has identified 6 other areas of concern due to the existence of large spoil piles, steep slopes, or indications of slips. Part of the mitigation for the accident is for TransCanada to perform additional geohazard surveys and monitoring.
Image: Pittsburgh post-Gazette