List of pipeline accidents in the United States (1900–1949)

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1920s[edit]

  • 1929 On July 22, two oil company patrolmen were killed by an explosion of a gas pipeline near Castaic, California.[1]

1930s[edit]

  • 1930 On April 4, gas leaked into the sewer system in New York City, New York, and later exploded. 6 people were injured, 5,000 were evacuated from nearby buildings, and telephone cables were damaged.[2]
  • 1930 A runaway horse smashed a wagon of lumber against a crude oil pipeline in Ripon, Wisconsin on May 24. The oil ignited and spread to nearby oil tanks, causing a blaze that destroyed a number of buildings.[3]
  • 1930 Excavation in Fairport, New York caused a major gas explosion on July 30. 3 people were killed, 10 were injured, and a 4 family house was damaged by the blast and following fire.[4]
  • 1931 4 campers near Kilgore, Texas were burned to death when they were surrounded by gas from a pipeline leak that caught fire on April 17. The flames also spread to brush and timber in the area, preventing rescuers from reaching the bodies for 3 hours.[5]
  • 1936 On February 19, a worker inside a sewer in Utica, New York ignited natural gas that had leaked into the sewer system. An explosion was triggered, and the following fire burned for more than 24 hours. 4,000 people were evacuated.[6]
  • 1936 On November 21, a pipeline serving a loading dock in Port Arthur, Texas, ruptured and ignited. The burning oil killed 3 people, and injured 6 others.[7]
  • 1937 An oil pipeline being repaired by gas welding exploded near Pryor, Oklahoma on January 26. 2 of the repair crew, and 4 wives of the repairmen were killed by the explosion and following fire.[8]
  • 1937 On February 5, a gas main thought to be damaged by flooding exploded in Louisville, Kentucky. At least 15 were injured, and a major fire swept through the area.[9]
  • 1937 At 3:17 p.m. on March 18, 1937, with just minutes left in the school day and more than 500 students and teachers inside the building, a natural gas explosion leveled most of New London High School in Rusk County, Texas. Odorless natural gas had leaked into the basement and ignited, killing 298 children, most in grades 5 to 11. Dozens more later died of injuries. As a result of this disaster, Texas passed laws requiring that natural gas be mixed with a malodorant to warn of a gas leak.[10]
  • 1937 On July 21, a gasoline explosion and fire hit a Phillips Pipeline pump station near Jefferson City, Missouri, injuring a truck driver there.[11]
  • 1939 On December 12, a pipeline being tested ruptured for 40 miles (64 km), near Wichita Falls, Texas, injuring one person.[12]

1940s[edit]

  • 1940 A gas compressor plant exploded in Braintree, Massachusetts on April 4, killing four people and injuring 12 others.[13]
  • 1940 On August 29, a newly hired crew of repairmen were working on fixing a pipeline leak near Buffalo, Oklahoma, when the pipeline exploded and started a fire. Five of the crew were killed, 10 others were burned, and 10 horses burned to death.[14][15]
  • 1942 On October 5, a crude oil pipeline broke near Wichita, Kansas, spilling crude oil into the Little Arkansas River. There was no fire or injuries.[16]
  • 1943 On January 18, a grass fire near Tyler, Texas spread to a leak in an 8-inch diameter natural gas pipeline. The gas leak was initially small, but grew quickly, until the gas flames were about 200 feet (61 m) high. Gas service was cut to 28,000 people.[17]
  • 1943 On May 17, flooding destroyed part of the "Big Inch" pipeline in Arkansas, causing nearly a week of shut down to build a bypass around the damaged area. There were no injuries reported.
  • 1943 On August 14, the recently built "Big Inch" crude oil pipeline developed a leak near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, delaying the first batch of crude oil from that pipeline from reaching Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[18]
  • 1943 On September 5, the "Big Inch" pipeline ruptured and burned near Lansdale, Pennsylvania, with burning crude oil spilling into a creek, and destroying over 100 trees. The creek had to have 2 temporary earth dams built on it to stop the burning crude from spreading further. There were no injuries reported.[19]
  • 1943 On December 4, the "Big Inch" started leaking near Okeana, Ohio. There were no injuries reported.[20]
  • 1944 The "Big Inch" crude oil pipeline ruptured in Connellsville, Pennsylvania on February 24, with the crude spill killing fish along a 12-mile (19 km) stretch of the Laurel Hill creek.[21]
  • 1946 A crew working to connect a new gas main in Peru, Illinois on July 4, when the old gas main exploded, killing 5 of the work crew, and injuring 7 others.[22]
  • 1947 On November 30, an explosion hit a natural gas compressor station for a gas storage facility in Marion, Michigan. One worker was killed, and 6 others were injured, and gas service was interrupted in the area.
  • 1948 On February 28, crude oil spilled from a ruptured pipeline leading to storage tank in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Some teen boys in the area saw crude oil bubbling out of manhole covers, and thought that igniting the oil would be a good idea. This caused a string of sewer explosions, causing manhole covers to fly 10 feet (3.0 m) into the air.[23]
  • 1948 On March 18, the 20 inch diameter "Little Big Inch" natural gas transmission pipeline near Petersburg, Indiana exploded and burned, throwing pieces of the pipe as far as 300 feet (91 m) away from the blast point. 3 homes were destroyed by the fire.[24][25]
  • 1948 The "Little Big Inch" natural gas transmission pipeline exploded in Arkansas.
  • 1948 A crude oil pipeline ruptured in Linden, New Jersey on September 7, coating roads in the area in oil.[26]
  • 1948 On October 18, vapors from a leaking butane pipeline at a refinery in Texas City, Texas spread out along a nearby highway, causing a number of cars to stall. The gas then exploded, killing 4 people, and seriously burning 17 others.[27][28]
  • 1948 On November 19, a "Big Inch" gas pipeline pumping station had 2 explosions and caught fire near Seymour, Indiana, causing $3,000,000 in damage, and injuring 17 workers at the station. Flames reached 300 feet high.[29][30]
  • 1949 On January 18, the "Big Inch" gas transmission pipeline ruptured and burned near Batesville, Indiana. The cause was an electrical arc at a compressor station. One worker at the compressor station had facila burns.[31]
  • 1949 A section of the "Little Big Inch" exploded and burned in North Vernon, Indiana on March 4, burning a mother and her infant. It was the fourth explosion on that pipeline in Indiana that year.[32]
  • 1949 A road grader operator was seriously burned when his grader hit a 6-inch gas pipeline west of Mankato, Kansas on November 17.[33]
  • 1949 On December 8, an explosion and fire occurred at a compressor station for a 24-inch natural gas pipeline in Centralia, Missouri. Flames could be seen for 150 miles (240 km) away.[34]
  • 1949 A leaking gas line caused an explosion at a packing plant in Sioux City, Iowa on December 14. Eighteen workers were killed, and almost 100 injured.[35]
  • 1949 On December 15, a 22-inch natural gas pipeline exploded and burned near Carthage, Tennessee, injuring two people. Flames shot 1,000 feet (300 m) into the air.[36]
  • 1949 In Detroit, Michigan a high pressure gas main went "out of control" on December 15, when a new pressure regulator was being installed, leading to a number a large gas explosions. Police evacuated the area before the explosions, but, six people were injured, and 5 stores destroyed.[37]

References[edit]

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