Faulty Pipe Weld Suspected Cause of Fire That Killed Two

Associated Press

A poorly welded pipeline seam may have contributed to a gasoline leak and fire that killed two people, a federal investigator said Wednesday.

Although the exact cause of the July 8 explosion and fire in the St. Paul suburb of Mounds View has not been determined, a metallurgist for the National Transportation Safety Board said tests showed metal edges of the gasoline pipeline did not melt and join during its manufacture.

The pipeline was laid in 1957-58 and was manufactured by Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., which federal officials said also produced an unknown number of pipelines that are buried across the nation. Jones & Laughlin merged into LTV Steel Corp., based in Dallas, in 1984.

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