Cause of pipeline explosion remains unknown
By: By MIKE SIMONSON/Wisconsin Public Radio, The Daily Telegram
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.
Dave Musatti and Steve Arnovich of Superior were killed in the explosion and fire. Twenty workers were involved in the repair of that pipeline in Clearbrook, Minn.
U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety spokeswoman Patricia Klinger said they made a mistake when they told Wisconsin Public Radio this week that “it looks like there were improper procedures conducted.”
“What we are looking at is whether or not improper procedures could have been something that we need to consider,” she said “It’s whether or not they could have been in place. We just don’t know at this point.”
Klinger said their investigation will continue, but she doesn’t know for how much longer.
Enbridge Energy Pipeline spokeswoman Denise Hamsher said they, too, are trying to find out what went wrong. She said Enbridge voluntarily reduced pipeline pressure when a pinhole leak was found.
“Then we decided that a second part of the investigation into the pin hole leak would be to cut that section of pipe out and subject that piece of pipe to metallurgical analysis,” Hamsher said. “It was in the process of cutting out that pipeline and replacing it that the Nov. 28 tragedy occurred.”
She expects the Enbridge investigation to be finished in a few weeks.