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Title: Pipeline accident report: Columbia Liquified Natural Gas Corporation Explosion and Fire, Cove Point, Maryland, October 6, 1979

About 3:35 a.m., e.d.t., an explosion caused by liquefied natural gas vapors destroyed a transformer building at the reception facility of the Columbia LNG Corporation, Cove Point, Maryland. Odorless liquefied natural gas leaked through an inadequately tightened LNG pump seal, vaporized, passed through approximately 210 ft of underground electrical conduit, and entered the substation building. One person was killed and one person was seriously injured. Damage to the facility was estimated at about $3 million. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was LNG which leaked through an inadequately tightened LNG pump seal, vaporized, and migrated through a 3-in. conduit, into a substation building where the vaporized LNG-air mixture was ignited by the arcing contacts of a circuit breaker interlock. Contributing to the accident was the absence of any combustible gas indicator to detect and warn personnel of the presence of flammable vapors in the building.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6834471
Report Number(s):
NTSB-PAR-80-2
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC (USA). Bureau of Accident Investigation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; 63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS; EXPLOSIONS; TERMINAL FACILITIES; ACCIDENTS; DEATH; EMERGENCY PLANS; EVALUATION; INJURIES; MARYLAND; OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY; ODOR; PIPELINES; PUMPS; CENTRAL REGION; ENERGY SOURCES; FLUIDS; FOSSIL FUELS; FUEL GAS; FUELS; GAS FUELS; GASES; NATURAL GAS; NORTH AMERICA; ORGANOLEPTIC PROPERTIES; SAFETY; USA 030500* -- Natural Gas-- Health & Safety; 560400 -- Other Environmental Pollutant Effects