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Audrain County gas pipe rupture caused by corrosion: Report

Damage totaled over $1 million

AUDRAIN COUNTY, Mo. - Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the natural gas pipeline that ruptured last month in Audrain County, has filed an incident report this month with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

According to the report filed April 2, over 90,000 cubic feet of natural gas leaked because of the break, which is worth about $290,000. A large fire burst out of the pipe as a result.

The apparent cause was corrosion that created a crack in the pipe. The report found no evidence of human or technological error.

The estimated pressure inside the pipe at the time of the rupture was 888 pounds per square inch, below the maximum of 900. 

The total damage caused by the rupture to both the pipeline and surrounding properties totaled over $1 million and fell within a 621-foot potential impact radius, according to the report. Two people were evacuated, but no injuries were reported. One home was destroyed as a result.

Energy Transfer stated in the report that all alarms were functioning, and the fire was extinguished about 90 minutes after it was reported. Four employees were tested for drug use after the incident, and all passed.

The carbon steel pipe, located 5 feet underground, was installed in 1962 and has a 30-inch diameter.

The company announced last week it has completed testing the pipe's integrity. The pipeline runs through several Midwestern states, spanning from the Anadarko Basin of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas to Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and into Michigan.

It is not clear if the section of pipe involved in the explosion is back in use. Representatives of Energy Transfer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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