NTSB Report on Kinder Morgan Pipeline Explosion

by | May 7, 2023 | Firm News, Oilfield Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its report on the August 15, 2021 pipeline explosion in Coolidge, Arizona.  During the incident, a pipeline owned and operated by Kinder Morgan, Inc. ruptured resulting in an explosion.  The explosion was so significant, it destroyed a house 451 feet away, killing two occupants and severely injuring another.

The NTSB’s report notes the inspection that took place after the explosion on the pipe segment to identify the cause:

NTSB investigators conducted metallurgical testing of the ejected pipe segment and found longitudinal surface breaking cracks, evidence of high pH SCC, in three regions at the toe of the ejected pipe segment’s longitudinal seam weld. Pitting corrosion observed on the surface of the tested pipe pieces indicated that moisture had settled on the pipe surface, likely due to tenting of the spiral wrap tape coating at the gap between the coating and where the weld meets the pipe surface. The tape coating had most likely shielded the toe of the weld from cathodic protection, allowing the toe of the weld to corrode from SCC. Over time, the three SCC regions had spread, eventually connecting into one larger fracture, which split open the pipeline on August 15, 2021.

The probable case was found to be:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the August 15, 2021, pipeline rupture in Coolidge, Arizona, was tented tape wrap leading to stress corrosion cracking, a fracture at a longitudinal seam weld, and subsequent rupture of the pipe. Contributing to the rupture was Kinder Morgan’s failure to record the correct coating type used for this segment of pipeline, leading to a risk assessment that did not fully identify the risk of stress corrosion cracking.

Spagnoletti Law Firm has attorneys licensed in Texas, Florida, and New York.  We have previously handled multiple cases involving explosions.  Our attorneys have the experience and the skills needed to aggressively represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or been seriously injured in an accident.  The experienced accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was involved in an accident involving a train. Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.