NTSB Gathers Information on Pipeline Test Failure

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press
Federal safety inspectors gathered information Thursday at the site of a failed pressure test in Raleigh, Miss.

Photo Courtesy: WLBT-TV

Federal safety inspectors gathered information Thursday at the site of a failed pressure test on a section of a new gas pipeline. Officials said an empty line was being tested using nitrogen. One person was killed and three others were critically injured.

Coroner Billy Allen said 40-year-old James Lee Candler of Sulphur, La., died in the explosion around 4 p.m. Wednesday on a county road just south of Sylvarena in Smith County. The blast occurred on part of the Mid-Continent Express pipeline.

Two of the injured, Rick Lee and Wayne Williams, worked for Grand Bluff Construction Company out of Beckville, Texas. Candler and David Matthews, one of the injured men, worked for Chicago-based Priority Energy. Two had life-threatening injuries and the third was in stable condition after the blast. Officials have not given an update on their conditions.

NTSB spokesman Jeff Lauria said his agency is "monitoring the situation and collecting information." He said he doesn't know if an investigation would be conducted.


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  • by AC Location: FL on Jul 29, 2009 at 07:22 AM
    What does the union have to do with this? It looks like union contractors were on site as I can clearly see a lounge chair in one of the pictures. The unions have destroyed our economy and you are using a situation like this to push your propaganda even further? Get for real. The unions have been toted on the backs of tax payers for years on end. Enough is enough.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 17, 2009 at 06:39 PM
    hiring non-union contractors has a part in this. Safety in our industry is a MUST! Especially when it comes to testing. It's a shame that in order to save a little bit of $ that someone had to lose their life. Not to mention the family that he was out there trying to support now must suffer due to saving a few bucks and being in a hurry when anyone that knows anything about pipelining knows the hazards of testing and it isn't something that should be rushed in order to do it correctly. What a shame! Hire Union Workers! Get the job done correctly!
  • by ed Location: meridian on Jul 16, 2009 at 05:05 PM
    doesn't shock me knew one of the pipe inspectors and he said was only time before it would happen.. as there was massive issues with the projects and nothing was in spec... pipe cut where shouldnt havbe been multiwelds on sections to correct the screw ups... all along the pipe and said all knew it even the company but there was a deadline to get the gas in the pipes asap.. shame had to loose lives... wonder who will the blame put on.. as all involved including the gov inspectors knew this shakes my head...
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