Covering Kentucky

Jan 3, 2012 5:10 PM

Gas Explosion Was Kentucky's Fourth In Last Decade

Kentucky is home to several major interstate pipelines, and, after Monday night's massive explosion in Estill County, LEX 18 dug a little deeper to see what pipelines and explosions in the past could be connected.

In less than a decade, Kentucky's dealt with four major gas pipeline explosions. In 2002 in Montgomery County, a large explosion in Mount Sterling could be seen all the way to Lexington. In 2006, an explosion that began in the Trapp Goffs Corner area in Clark County quickly spread to neighboring Powell County.

Last September another explosion just south of Winchester was caused by a gouge in the pipeline. and, then Monday night's explosion in Estill County could be seen in several nearby counties.

The Estill County explosion was connected to the Columbia Gulf transmission line. With 3,400 miles of pipeline, the line nearly cuts Kentucky in half. The three other major gas explosions were connected to the Tennessee Gas pipeline.

While Kentucky has a Public Service Commission, these interstate pipelines aren't under their jurisdiction - a federal agency oversees the regulation and handles the investigations after an explosion.

Both gas companies told LEX 18 that there is "no indication at this point that the gas pipeline explosions are connected" but the investigation into Monday's explosion is ongoing."

LEX 18 contacted the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which regulates the interstate pipelines and handles investigations, and they said they would get back to us about our inquiry.

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