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Natural Gas Tank Explosion in Washington Injures 1

Tina Robinson3 years ago

A fire and explosion at a liquid natural gas storage and distribution facility in Plymouth, WA injured one worker and evacuated nearby residents Monday morning.

Details of the Natural Gas Explosion

Reuters is reporting an explosion of a liquefied natural gas storage tank that injured one worker at a Williams Cos. Inc. facility in Plymouth, WA on Monday morning. Nearby residents were also evacuated following the explosion. The worker is being treated at an area hospital for burns and is expected to make a full recovery.

Reports say that a fire in the facility damaged one of two liquid natural gas storage tanks resulting in an explosion. Each tank is believed to hold approximately 1.2 billion cubic feet of liquid natural gas.

A spokeswoman for Williams told reporters that the tanks were half full at the time of the accident. Williams closed connections from the mainline – the Northwest Pipeline – but was still able to distribute gas to customers.

Liquefied natural gas is created by cooling natural gas to minus 260 degrees Farenheit. It is stored in large, double-walled tanks.

The Northwest Pipeline is a 3,900-mile transmission system that serves six states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. The pipeline supplies gas from British Columbia, Alberta, the Rocky Mountain basin and San Juan basin.

Natural Gas Incident Statistics

  • The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has recorded 41 fatalities and 195 injuries in significant incidents involving natural gas transmission systems in the past ten years.
  • According to PHMSA in 2012 alone, 70 natural gas transmission incidents resulted in 3 injuries and $44,581,410 in property damages.


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