Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kinder Morgan Central Florida pipeline jet fuel leak temporarily repaired

TAMPA, Fla. - Crews on July 24 temporarily repaired a break in a Central Florida pipeline that carries jet fuel between Tampa and Orlando.

The pipeline ruptured on the night of July 22, spewing thousands of gallons of fuel into a nearby creek. The damaged portion of the pipeline runs along railroad tracks in Mango, Fla.

Crews managed to stop the flow of fuel from the rupture around 9 p.m. on July 23, said Holley Wade, a spokeswoman for Hillsborough County Emergency Management.

On the morning of July 24, workers installed a sleeve over the damaged portion of pipe, said Emily Thompson, a spokeswoman for Kinder Morgan, the company that operates the Central Florida pipeline.

The broken pipe dumped about 31,000 gallons of fuel, and about 65 percent of that has been cleaned up, Thompson said.

The fuel spewed into a creek called the Mango Channel, Wade said. The channel eventually connects with a bypass canal that runs into Tampa Bay. Booms are being used to contain the fuel, and workers are monitoring the situation.

The broken section of the pipe will eventually be permanently replaced, but Thompson didn't know when that would happen.

Thompson said the initial investigation showed the pipe was struck by a third party, but no other details were currently available. The pipeline rupture is being investigated by the Florida Department of Transportation. (Sources:, July 24, 2011; CF News, July 24, 2011)

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