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Louisiana Natural Gas Pipeline Explodes

A natural gas pipeline exploded in Louisiana, destroying a mobile home and prompting an evacuation of the area.

The explosion happened in Washington Parish on a pipeline owned by Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) that carries gas from Texas to Florida. It created a mushroom cloud in the air and ignited a fire. No injuries were reported.

Gas pipeline explosions seem to be occurring at an accelerating rate in the United States. This is not surprising considering the advanced age of most of the infrastructure. Most older pipelines are made of wrought or cast iron. The modern standard is steel pipeline that has been specially treated to protect it from corrosion. The National Transportation Safety Board in 1973 recommended the replacement of all iron pipelines, but without government mandates, there is not enough incentive for gas companies to accelerate the expensive replacement process.

Energy Transfer Partners, a parent company of FGT, said that a section of the pipeline was shut down and gas was rerouted to customers. On its website, FGT said that it was capping gas usage for customers on the line due to increased demand. Some 10,000 Louisianans who get their electricity from the Washington-Street Tammany Electric Cooperative were affected as well. They were without power temporarily, but a representative said that service had been restored.

The Lietz Law Firm advocates for improved safety standards across all transportation industries in the U.S., including gas and oil transport. The replacement of the nation’s aging pipeline infrastructure needs to be a priority, and we hope officials and business leaders will not wait for another tragedy before committing to the undertaking.

Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2013. Filed under Catastrophic Injury, Industrial Fires, Wrongful Death.