When a regional gas pipeline ruptured in Lincoln County, Kentucky in the early morning hours of August 1, 2019, it shot skyward a fireball so massive it was picked up on Louisville weather radar. Five people were injured and one person died. Lisa Denise Derringer, a 58-year-old woman from Stanford is remembered by friends and neighbors as a good woman who drove a truck, raised donkeys and loved her children.
In the hours since the explosion, a swarm of state, federal and local investigators have descended on the scene near the small town of Moreland, trying to determine what happened. For clues, they don’t have to look too far.
In January, another section of the pipeline ruptured in Noble County, Ohio injuring two people. Like yesterday’s blast, the towering flames of the massive fire that followed the explosion could be seen from more than 10 miles away. And in 2016, an explosion near Salem Township, Pennsylvania left one victim severely injured. Federal authorities determined corrosion to be the cause of that blast.
Another rupture, another state, another fireball, another serious injury.
The dangers of our nation’s aging pipeline system are well-known in the industry. More than 60 percent of the 2.6 million miles of pipeline in the U.S. were built before 1970. Some are close to 100 years old.
Construction on this pipeline, the Texas Eastern, began during World War II. The section that exploded yesterday was built in 1952 or 1953. But, while some sections of the pipeline may have been updated or inspected since then, the dangers of corrosion were made clear to Enbridge by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). In March of this year, the agency sent a warning letter and a notice of probable violation to Enbridge outlining the potential problems and the company’s failure to address them.
Led by Eric Hageman and Fred Pritzker, our award-winning team of explosion lawyers represents clients nationwide who have been injured in explosions and the families of those who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. If your family needs help, call us at 1 (888) 377-8900 (toll-free), send a text to 612-261-0856, or complete the form below. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.