Monday, October 19, 2009

NTSB issues findings on fatal 2007 Dixie Pipeline rupture in Mississippi

CARMICHAEL, Miss. - The National Transportation Safety Board on Oct. 15 issued its final findings on a 2007 rupture on the Dixie liquid propane gas (LPG).
In its report, the NTSB took direct aim at Dixie Pipeline. It stated, among other things, that better pipeline testing might have prevented the explosion. It also found that the company had not included the Carmichael community in its safety education program.
For many residents of Clarke County, Miss., the wounds from the 2007 pipeline explosion remain fresh. The trees are still charred. The ruins of two mobile homes are still where they almost melted when the LPG line ruptured and exploded near the Carmichael community in southeastern Clarke County. Pieces of the charred mobile homes still sit exactly where they fell on Nov. 1, 2007, when the compromised pipeline spilled propane gas down in a hollow.
"It was just a normal day in Clarke County until the explosion happened and then it was total chaos," said Sheriff Todd Kemp.
"This line travels a long distance, but for it to happen right here in this little community here, it was tragedy," said District 5 county supervisor Tony Fleming. "You come down here hoping no one got hurt. We find out we lost some lives, people that we knew."
The cost to the Dixie Pipeline Company was over $3.5 million. The cost to the Carmichael community was two lives, five homes, and a feeling of unease. The blast killed Maddie and Naquandra Mitchell, and forced many of their family members to find alternative living arrangements.
At least one group has filed a class action lawsuit against the pipeline company.

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