Natural Gas Explosion in Portland Causes Several Injuries, Immense Damage to Property

Firefighters work to put out fire after a natural gas explosion occurred in Portland, Oregon, October 19, 2016. Photo: Don Ryan / AP

Firefighters work to put out fire after a natural gas explosion occurred in Portland, Oregon, October 19, 2016. Photo: Don Ryan / AP

A natural gas explosion on Wednesday in Portland, Oregon caused eight injuries and several evacuations after it erupted into fire on a popular street called “Trendy Third.”

The explosion caused immense damage to property, crumbling a building to ashes and blowing out windows of another nearby building.

Utility company NW Natural responded to calls at 8:55am on Wednesday morning about a subcontractor hitting one of its gas lines while digging.

Workers from NW Natural were onsite by 9:10am and were working to control the gas leak when an eruption occurred at 9:38am. The cause of the ignition is unknown.

The company was able to control the gas leak by 9:52am, according to the update on its website. NW Natural is currently coordinating with Portland Fire, PGE and City of Portland structural officials to turn service back on in the area as soon as possible.

“We want to assure our customers and the communities we serve that public safety is our absolute priority. We continually train our crews to be ready, and I’m proud of their rapid response,” said CEO David Anderson in a statement.

NW Natural

Exxon Challenges PHMSA Over Pegasus Pipeline Leak

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company is challenging PHMSA’s claim that the company’s Pegasus pipeline that ruptured in 2013 was susceptible to seam failure, even though PHMSA reports that the pipeline had a history of such problems.

According to a PHMSA report, ExxonMobil Pipeline violated safety regulations, which led to a $2.6 million fine levied by PHMSA. ExxonMobil Pipeline is challenging both the claim and the fine.

PHMSA reported to a federal appeals court that the Pegasus pipeline had experienced several seam failures during tests and while in service, which included leaks or failures in 1969, 1984, 1991, and 2005-06.

As a result of the Pegasus disaster in 2013, PHMSA required that ExxonMobil Pipeline revise its seam-failure susceptibility process for all of its pipelines that are in similar condition.

ExxonMobil Pipeline is concerned about this requirement as it said it operates over 1,000 miles of pipe that are in similar condition to the Pegasus pipeline. The company also claimed that 25 percent of the nation’s oil pipelines are in similar condition.

The pipeline rupture in Mayflower caused the evacuation of 22 homes, and many residents never moved back. Shortly after the accident the company shut down the Pegasus pipeline that ran 850 miles from Illinois to Texas. All but 211 miles of the line remains closed today.

Houston Chronicle

Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks, Causes Rupture in Kansas

A natural gas leak caused a pipeline rupture in Lincoln County near Salina, Kansas on Thursday, blowing a 10-feet-wide hole in the affected field area. There was no fire, and no injuries occurred as a result of the rupture.

The Kansas Department of Transportation temporarily closed nearby highways for several hours after the rupture was reported at around 1:00pm on Thursday afternoon.

Northern Natural Gas was notified of the incident. The company shut off gas to the 24-inch, high-pressurized line, which took more than two hours to clear of natural gas.

The cause of explosion is unknown but is being investigated.

Sunflower State Radio