We had a story in today's paper on two Texas natural gas pipelines that exploded last month, killing three people all together. In both cases, state and federal officials have confirmed that the pipelines were not properly marked.
The reasons that happened in each incident are different. In one case, there's significant disagreement on the facts leading up to the explosion.
In the first incident on June 7, one worker was killed and seven others were injured when a crew hit a 36-inch pipe while digging a hole for a power pole in rural Johnson County. The massive fireball that burned for an extended period made national news.
Incident reports filed with the Texas Railroad Commission show that pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners and excavator C&H Power Line are blaming each other.
The commission has confirmed that C&H called ahead to learn the location of pipelines before digging. The company argues that it was never told that a gas pipeline was in its way.
Enterprise says in its incident report that the company tried to follow up on C&H's call. At first, the company says, it couldn't find where C&H was planning to dig. An Enterprise official then contacted the excavator and was given the impression that C&H had already finished digging, according to the report.
We've posted Enterprise's report and C&H's report on the pipeline accident.
A day after the Johnson County incident, two people died and others were injured when a dirt-contracting company hit a 14-inch pipeline with a bulldozer in Darrouzett.
In its incident report, dirt contractor Nick Thomas Inc. acknowledged to the commission that the company did not call in advance of digging.
Pipeline operator DCP Midstream noted in its report, "This excavator has a history of not making notifications."
State law requires that companies wanting to excavate call a national 811 number to state where they plan to dig and request information about pipelines and anything else underground that might be struck.
The Railroad Commission is expected to issue reports on both incidents this summer.