Pipeline safety officials change story, say blast cause unknownChanging their story, pipeline safety officials said Thursday they have not reached any conclusions about the cause of an oil pipeline explosion and fire that killed two men in northwestern Minnesota last November.
By: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, The Daily Telegram
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Changing their story, pipeline safety officials said Thursday they have not reached any conclusions about the cause of an oil pipeline explosion and fire that killed two men in northwestern Minnesota last November.
They said that a federal Office of Pipeline Safety spokesman, Damon Hill, misspoke when he told Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Mike Simonson this past week that "it looks like there were improper procedures conducted."
Patricia Klinger, the office's director of external communications, said the investigation has not been completed and no report has been issued. She said the question of whether or not anyone followed improper procedures was only one of several questions that investigators are still trying to answer.
"This was obviously a mistake on our part," Klinger said in a phone interview from Washington.
Hill, whose conversation was recorded, said Thursday he "misspoke" and that it was not his intent to imply that anyone did anything improper.
Dave Musanti Jr. and Steve Arnovich of Superior were killed while working on an Enbridge Energy Partners LLP pipeline near Clearbook when it exploded Nov. 28. They were contract welders from Enbridge's office in Superior, part of a crew that was repairing a pipe section where a pinhole leak had been found.
An Enbridge spokeswoman did not immediately return phone calls from The Associated Press on Thursday.