Corrosion Believed Possible Cause of Gas Pipeline Blast

Associated Press

Officials were focusing on corrosion in a pipeline as a possible cause of a natural gas explosion that killed five persons over the weekend, a federal official said Monday.

Investigators also were checking Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. records on work that was done to the pipeline in September, 1983, when a section of the 30-inch pipe was strengthened. Other sections could have been damaged or more stress placed on other parts of the pipeline at that time, said Charles Batten, chief of the hazardous materials and pipeline accident division of the National Transportation Safety Board.

A fire that followed Saturday’s explosion charred a 12-acre area, destroying two houses, three mobile homes, a barn, an old sawmill, at least a dozen cars and an estimated $200,000 to $300,000 worth of construction equipment.