An explosion occurred at around 8:15 a.m. following the rupture of a gas pipeline near a residence. The pipeline, measuring 762 mm in diameter, had been built in 1981 and was running parallel to other pipelines. The explosion created a massive fireball with severe thermal effects. The resulting leak also generated a great deal of noise throughout the neighbourhood, increasing the level of anxiety among the residents.
The individual living in the home was severely burned and was taken to the hospital. The emergency rescue services set up a security perimeter and evacuated a dozen homes in the area. Traffic was interrupted. The leak was stopped at 9:20 a.m. after closing the block valves and completely burning the gas contained. The fire brigade put out the fire, although the house was destroyed, and a field and trees were burnt.
According to the press, traces of corrosion were detected on 2 welds on the pipeline. One in the location where the pipe had ruptured, and the other at a section that had been excavated following the accident. The strips forming the structure’s protective coating also appear to have been damaged. A hypothesis was made indicating that the coating’s protective strip had become detached and shielded the cathodic protection current. The structure’s last inspection and the cathodic protection tests were performed in 2012, and nothing unusual was reported.
Following the event, the operator reduced the operating pressure of its structure, as well as the quantity of gas conveyed. It plans to inspect over 400 km of gas pipeline.