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Significant Pipeline Incidents By Cause

This report is a sub-report of the PHMSA Significant Pipeline Incidents report. As such, it represents Significant Incidents (A) only over the time period and pipeline system specified.

The data source for this table is the PHMSA Flagged Incident File. (1)

More Pipeline Incidents Reports are available.

National All Pipeline Systems: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 24 9.2% 1 2 $4,403,364 6.0%
INTERNAL CORROSION 14 5.4% 0 1 $1,822,732 2.5%
Sub Total 38 14.6% 1 3 $6,226,097 8.5%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 10 3.8% 0 3 $9,112,724 12.4%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 64 24.7% 4 26 $15,410,500 21.1%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 3 1.1% 0 0 $1,132,238 1.5%
Sub Total 77 29.7% 4 29 $25,655,463 35.1%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 32 12.3% 1 11 $2,778,845 3.8%
Sub Total 32 12.3% 1 11 $2,778,845 3.8%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 13 5.0% 0 2 $5,364,266 7.3%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 6 2.3% 0 0 $392,885 0.5%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 3 1.1% 0 0 $726,955 1.0%
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 9 3.4% 0 3 $3,478,202 4.7%
Sub Total 31 11.9% 0 5 $9,962,310 13.6%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 9 3.4% 0 3 $3,444,250 4.7%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 0.7% 0 0 $14,308,094 19.6%
TEMPERATURE 2 0.7% 0 0 $957,828 1.3%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 11 4.2% 0 0 $4,334,529 5.9%
Sub Total 24 9.2% 0 3 $23,044,702 31.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 2 0.7% 2 0 $360,257 0.4%
Sub Total 2 0.7% 2 0 $360,257 0.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 55 21.2% 13 13 $4,951,065 6.7%
Sub Total 55 21.2% 13 13 $4,951,065 6.7%
Totals 259 100.0% 21 64 $72,978,741 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 1995
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 20 12.8% 0 0 $1,857,257 4.1%
INTERNAL CORROSION 12 7.6% 0 0 $1,485,348 3.2%
Sub Total 32 20.5% 0 0 $3,342,605 7.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 4.4% 0 0 $8,969,764 19.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 25 16.0% 0 4 $4,522,135 9.9%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 3 1.9% 0 0 $1,132,238 2.5%
Sub Total 35 22.4% 0 4 $14,624,138 32.3%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 24 15.3% 0 2 $1,220,587 2.7%
Sub Total 24 15.3% 0 2 $1,220,587 2.7%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 13 8.3% 0 2 $5,364,266 11.8%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 6 3.8% 0 0 $392,885 0.8%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 3 1.9% 0 0 $726,955 1.6%
Sub Total 22 14.1% 0 2 $6,484,107 14.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 1.2% 0 0 $14,308,094 31.6%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 8 5.1% 0 0 $2,691,926 5.9%
Sub Total 10 6.4% 0 0 $17,000,020 37.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 33 21.1% 3 3 $2,577,223 5.7%
Sub Total 33 21.1% 3 3 $2,577,223 5.7%
Totals 156 100.0% 3 11 $45,248,684 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 1995
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 20 12.8% 0 0 $1,857,257 4.1%
INTERNAL CORROSION 12 7.6% 0 0 $1,485,348 3.2%
Sub Total 32 20.5% 0 0 $3,342,605 7.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 7 4.4% 0 0 $8,969,764 19.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 25 16.0% 0 4 $4,522,135 9.9%
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 1.2% 0 0 $846,319 1.8%
Sub Total 34 21.7% 0 4 $14,338,220 31.6%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 24 15.3% 0 2 $1,220,587 2.7%
Sub Total 24 15.3% 0 2 $1,220,587 2.7%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED PIPE BODY OR SEAM 13 8.3% 0 2 $5,364,266 11.8%
UNSPECIFIED WELD 6 3.8% 0 0 $392,885 0.8%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 3 1.9% 0 0 $726,955 1.6%
Sub Total 22 14.1% 0 2 $6,484,107 14.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 1.2% 0 0 $14,308,094 31.6%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 8 5.1% 0 0 $2,691,926 5.9%
Sub Total 10 6.4% 0 0 $17,000,020 37.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 32 20.5% 3 3 $1,862,426 4.1%
Sub Total 32 20.5% 3 3 $1,862,426 4.1%
Totals 154 98.7% 3 11 $44,247,968 97.7%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 1995
National Hazardous Liquid Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION DAMAGE 1 0.6% 0 0 $285,918 0.6%
Sub Total 1 0.6% 0 0 $285,918 0.6%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 1 0.6% 0 0 $714,797 1.5%
Sub Total 1 0.6% 0 0 $714,797 1.5%
Totals 2 1.2% 0 0 $1,000,715 2.2%
National, Hazardous Liquid Offshore, 1995
National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 3.1% 0 0 $2,501,789 18.8%
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 3.1% 0 0 $323,088 2.4%
Sub Total 2 6.2% 0 0 $2,824,878 21.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 8 25.0% 0 2 $2,514,656 18.9%
Sub Total 8 25.0% 0 2 $2,514,656 18.9%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 7 21.8% 0 0 $3,478,202 26.1%
Sub Total 7 21.8% 0 0 $3,478,202 26.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 3 9.3% 0 0 $1,743,032 13.1%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 3 9.3% 0 0 $1,642,603 12.3%
Sub Total 6 18.7% 0 0 $3,385,636 25.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 9 28.1% 2 5 $1,093,639 8.2%
Sub Total 9 28.1% 2 5 $1,093,639 8.2%
Totals 32 100.0% 2 7 $13,297,013 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 1995
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 3.1% 0 0 $2,501,789 18.8%
Sub Total 1 3.1% 0 0 $2,501,789 18.8%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 5 15.6% 0 2 $1,728,379 13.0%
Sub Total 5 15.6% 0 2 $1,728,379 13.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 5 15.6% 0 0 $2,756,257 20.7%
Sub Total 5 15.6% 0 0 $2,756,257 20.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 6.2% 0 0 $342,030 2.5%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 2 6.2% 0 0 $1,242,317 9.3%
Sub Total 4 12.5% 0 0 $1,584,347 11.9%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 7 21.8% 0 5 $721,945 5.4%
Sub Total 7 21.8% 0 5 $721,945 5.4%
Totals 22 68.7% 0 7 $9,292,720 69.8%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 1995
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 3.1% 0 0 $323,088 2.4%
Sub Total 1 3.1% 0 0 $323,088 2.4%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 3 9.3% 0 0 $786,276 5.9%
Sub Total 3 9.3% 0 0 $786,276 5.9%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 2 6.2% 0 0 $721,945 5.4%
Sub Total 2 6.2% 0 0 $721,945 5.4%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 3.1% 0 0 $1,401,002 10.5%
UNSPECIFIED NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE 1 3.1% 0 0 $400,286 3.0%
Sub Total 2 6.2% 0 0 $1,801,288 13.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 2 6.2% 2 0 $371,694 2.8%
Sub Total 2 6.2% 2 0 $371,694 2.8%
Totals 10 31.2% 2 0 $4,004,293 30.1%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 1995
National Gas Gathering: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 33.3% 0 1 $14,295 8.3%
Sub Total 1 33.3% 0 1 $14,295 8.3%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 33.3% 0 2 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 1 33.3% 0 2 $0 0.0%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 1 33.3% 0 0 $157,255 91.6%
Sub Total 1 33.3% 0 0 $157,255 91.6%
Totals 3 100.0% 0 3 $171,551 100.0%
National, Gas Gathering, 1995
National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 1995
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 3 4.4% 1 2 $44,317 0.3%
Sub Total 3 4.4% 1 2 $44,317 0.3%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 3 4.4% 0 3 $142,959 1.0%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 31 45.5% 4 20 $8,373,708 58.7%
Sub Total 34 50.0% 4 23 $8,516,667 59.7%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 8 11.7% 1 9 $1,558,257 10.9%
Sub Total 8 11.7% 1 9 $1,558,257 10.9%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
UNSPECIFIED MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE 1 1.4% 0 1 $0 0.0%
Sub Total 1 1.4% 0 1 $0 0.0%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 6 8.8% 0 3 $1,701,217 11.9%
TEMPERATURE 2 2.9% 0 0 $957,828 6.7%
Sub Total 8 11.7% 0 3 $2,659,045 18.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
UNSPECIFIED OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE 2 2.9% 2 0 $360,257 2.5%
Sub Total 2 2.9% 2 0 $360,257 2.5%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 12 17.6% 8 5 $1,122,946 7.8%
Sub Total 12 17.6% 8 5 $1,122,946 7.8%
Totals 68 100.0% 16 43 $14,261,492 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 1995

Notes

  1. Significant Incidents are those incidents reported by pipeline operators when any of the following conditions are met: 1) Fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization. 2) $50,000 or more in total costs, measured in 1984 dollars. 3) Highly volatile liquid releases of 5 barrels or more or other liquid releases of 50 barrels or more. 4) Liquid releases resulting in an unintentional fire or explosion. Serious incidents, a subset of Significant Incidents, are incidents which involve a fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization.
  2. PHMSA has gathered increasingly targeted incident cause data over time. As such, the available reportable categories of cause (eg: Internal/External Corrosion vs Corrosion in general) have increased over time. This report spans time periods over which the reportable cause categories have changed. The cause categories in this report should be taken as general and not specific for years prior to 2002 for Liquid and Gas Transmission, and prior to 2004 for Gas Distribution.
  3. Gas Distribution incidents where fire/explosion was the primary cause of failure, such as a house fire that subsequently resulted in - but was not caused by - a distribution line failure are excluded from 2004 onward. This exclusion has not been applied in years prior to 2004 due to difficulty in identifying these types of events with the older report formats.
  4. The costs for incidents in 2013 and prior are presented in 2013 dollars. Cost of Gas lost is indexed via the Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas City Gate Prices. All other costs are adjusted via the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Government Printing Office inflation values.
  5. For years 2002 and later, property damage is estimated as the sum of all public and private costs reported in the 30-day incident report. For years prior to 2002, accident report forms did not include a breakdown of public and private costs so property damage for these years is the reported total property damage field in the report.

Sources

  1. PHMSA Flagged Incidents File - Aug 4, 2014. Note: Incidents occurring up to 30 days prior the Incident File source date may not appear in these reports due to the 30-day reporting period allowed by PHMSA regulation.

See Pipeline Incidents Reports for more pipeline safety reports.

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