NTSB Releases Investigative Files on Sissonville Explosion

The agency opened the public docket, making available more than 1,400 pages of documents on the December 2012 explosion in West Virginia.

The National Transportation Safety Board has made available more than 1,400 pages of investigative documents about the Dec. 11, 2012, explosion of a 20-inch natural gas transmission pipeline in Sissonville, W.Va. The board opened its public docket June 6.

The explosion occurred around 12:41 pm EST on that date, blasting a crater near Interstate 77 and causing a fire that destroyed three nearby homes. A section of about 20 feet of pipe, owned and operated by Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation, landed more than 40 feet from its original location. There were no serious injuries.

The documents include interview transcripts and photographs, and they are available here. The safety board has previously announced that the exterior of the pipeline at the point it ruptured was heavily corroded. This pipe segment originally had a nominal wall thickness of 0.281 inches, but when measured after the blast, the thinnest portion was only 0.078 inches thick.

More material will be added to the docket as it becomes available. NTSB has not yet made a determination of the probable cause or completed a final report.

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