Pipeline Safety Hearing Held After Sissonville Explosion
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on January 28, 2013 @ 3:00PM
Created on January 28, 2013 @ 9:09AM
A field hearing is underway in Charleston on pipeline safety after a gas explosion destroyed several homes in Sissonville and torched part of Interstate 77.
Senator Jay Rockefeller is holding the hearing. Monday he called on federal regulators to implement new reforms to prevent accidents like the Sissionville explosion.
Witnesses include a woman who feared the world was ending when she watched the gas explosion destroy her neighborhood, pipeline operator Columbia Gas Transmission, a watchdog group, and regulators.
Chairwoman from the National Transportation Safety Board Deborah Hersman also took to the stand. She testified that the line erupted because it was old and deteriorated. This isn't the only aging piece to the gas transmission system. The entire thing is running on 50 year old technology. She said improved technology needs to have better leak detection and a system with automatic shutoff valves that can be operated remotely or automatically in the event of a pressure drop.
Senator Joe Manchin was also in attendance.
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