NTSB releases preliminary report on Lincoln County pipeline explosion


LINCOLN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on the massive pipeline explosion in Lincoln County that left one person dead and destroyed several structures.

The explosion happened on August 1, 2019 at 1:23 a.m.

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According to the report, a 30-inch-diameter natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge Inc. ruptured near Danville, releasing about 66 million cubic feet of natural gas that ignited.

One person, 58-year-old Lisa Denise Derringer, was killed and six other people were hospitalized. The explosion forced the evacuation of 75 people from the Indian Camp mobile home park, destroyed five homes, damaged 14 others and burned about 30 acres of land including railroad tracks owned and operated by Norfolk Southern Corporation.

The NTSB also says, as a result of the explosion, a 33.2-foot-long section of the pipeline was ejected and landed about 481 feet southwest of the rupture site.

The report states initial data provided by Enbridge from its gas control center in Houston, Texas, showed that a rate-of-change gas pressure alarm was received at 1:24 a.m. for Line 15 on the south side of the Danville compressor station. The Danville compressor station operator also received the alarm. The NTSB goes on to say the operator told investigators he could see the fire from the compressor station. In response to the accident, Enbridge personnel isolated the affected pipeline segment at 2:19 a.m while the Lincoln County Fire Protection District worked to evacuate residents and minimize the spread of the fire. The natural gas fire was reported under control by emergency responders at 2:56 a.m.; fire suppression of the surrounding area ended at 3:20 a.m.

The ruptured pipe was put into service in 1957. According to the NTSB, investigators are reviewing data from inspections Enbridge performed on the area of the rupture in 2011, 2018 and 2019.

On August 8, 2019, as a result of the accident, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a corrective action order to Enbridge. In response to the rupture, Enbridge has isolated and shut down all three pipelines in the area of the accident. Line 15 will be isolated from the adjacent pipelines from Mississippi to Pennsylvania and will operate at or below 80 percent of normal operating pressure until the terms outlined in the PHMSA corrective action order are met, and PHMSA approves Line 15 to return to full service, according to the report.

This is the second time Line 15 ruptured and caused an explosion in Kentucky. On November 2, 2003, the line ruptured in Morehead, releasing about 167,100 million cubic feet of natural gas which ignited. There were no fatalities or injuries as a result of the explosion.

The NTSB says its investigation is ongoing and investigators have collected sections of the pipeline for analysis and testing.

To read the full report, click here .