Feds examine pipe from Colonial Pipeline explosion
The National Transportation Safety Board is now examining sections of the Colonial Pipeline that were damaged in the fatal October 31st explosion near Helena.
An NTSB spokesman told ABC 33/40 News that the federal agency has secured damaged sections of the pipeline and is in the process of examining them in their laboratory in Washington, D.C.
"We’re examining the pipe to see if there may have been any mechanical anomalies with it that may have been present prior to the accident occurrence, which is a standard practice in our pipeline accident investigations," said NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson. "We’re looking at facture surfaces, integrity of welds, and the base metal properties."
Two people died when an employee from the L.E. Bell Construction company doing excavation work hit the gasoline pipeline sparking an explosion and massive fire. Several other workers were injured.
An ABC 33/40 News investigation of L.E. Bell uncovered a track record of serious federal safety violations between 2009 and 2013.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said three of those serious violations involved excavation work.
The NTSB and OSHA expect to complete their investigations in 2017.