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Investigation underway over Louisiana pipeline explosion

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World Pipelines,

On 9 February, a Phillips 66-owned 20 in. natural gas pipeline exploded in Paradis, Louisiana (US). The pipeline transports natural gas from Venice to Paradis (Louisiana).

At present, there is an investigation into the cause of the explosion. Six pipeline workers were cleaning the pipeline when the explosion happened; two workers have been injured whilst one other is currently missing. Additionally, approximately 60 houses in the area had to be evacuated as the pipeline continues to burn.

Greg Champagne, St. Charles Parish Sheriff, explained: “It is a very high pressure fire. High intensity. When you get close to it, it is singing. This could burn for hours, this could burn for days. It is a large blowtorch at this point and time. It's burning clean. But it's not safe to go near it."

The pipeline operator, Phillips 66, recently issued a statement on the explosion. It noted: “The pipeline has been blocked in and the remaining product in the line continues to burn. Our first priority is ensuring the safety of our workers, responders and the community.”

Though no reason has been determined as to why the pipeline exploded, the investigation is still ongoing. Champagne has suggested it could be a gasket or valve failure, though this is not certain.

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