A natural gas pipeline exploded January 21 in Noble County, Ohio, injured two people, destroyed three nearby homes, damaged three others and caused the evacuation of other homes and businesses in the rural area. The pipeline was part of the Texas Eastern Transmission system built in 1952 and 1953 and owned since 2017 by Canadian energy transportation giant Enbridge.
Flames from the 30-inch-wide pipeline's explosion and an ensuing fire were visible 80-ft-high according to witnesses. Local fire departments were able to contain the blaze, Enbridge personnel assisted in turning service to the line off and there is no ongoing threat to the surrounding area. Only one of the two injured people was transported to a local hospital where that person was treated for minor burns and released, according to a statement from the Noble County Emergency Management Agency. Enbridge said there is no timetable for resuming service on that portion of the pipeline.
The Texas Eastern Transmission system includes nearly 9,100 miles of pipeline which connects Texas and the Gulf Coast's gas-rich fields to customers in Ohio and the Northeast and to transport terminals in the Mid-Atlantic states. Calgary-based Enbridge acquired Texas Eastern Transmission when it bought Houston-based Spectra Energy Partners in February 2017. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the Pipeline and the federal Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are investigating the cause of the explosion. Enbridge said that portion of the system was last inspected in 2012 and it passed inspection.
"On behalf of Enbridge, I want to express our concern for the two individuals who were injured, as well as all those affected by this incident,” said Bill Yardley, Enbridge executive vice president in a statement. “We thank the first responders for their efforts and we are working closely with them and other local officials to restore the incident site safely.”