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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: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 21 7.6% 0 0 $14,403,351 8.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 23 8.3% 0 0 $20,004,470 11.5%
Sub Total 44 16.0% 0 0 $34,407,822 19.8%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 6 2.1% 0 0 $826,740 0.4%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 34 12.3% 1 7 $12,294,441 7.0%
Sub Total 40 14.5% 1 7 $13,121,181 7.5%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 20 7.2% 4 10 $10,813,501 6.2%
Sub Total 20 7.2% 4 10 $10,813,501 6.2%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 3 1.0% 0 3 $4,162,754 2.4%
BODY OF PIPE 5 1.8% 0 0 $10,999,369 6.3%
PIPE SEAM 6 2.1% 0 0 $4,227,232 2.4%
BUTT WELD 9 3.2% 0 0 $12,219,687 7.0%
FILLET WELD 4 1.4% 0 0 $1,012,103 0.5%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 15 5.4% 0 2 $5,164,096 2.9%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 11 4.0% 0 0 $3,212,347 1.8%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 10 3.6% 0 0 $2,187,030 1.2%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 12 4.3% 0 1 $2,419,084 1.3%
Sub Total 75 27.2% 0 6 $45,603,705 26.2%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 9 3.2% 1 4 $4,544,116 2.6%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 8 2.9% 0 0 $11,427,717 6.5%
LIGHTNING 3 1.0% 0 0 $3,665,216 2.1%
TEMPERATURE 7 2.5% 0 3 $2,539,382 1.4%
HIGH WINDS 2 0.7% 0 0 $11,370,415 6.5%
Sub Total 29 10.5% 1 7 $33,546,848 19.3%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 4 1.4% 0 2 $7,443,079 4.2%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 25 9.0% 5 17 $9,346,016 5.3%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 0.3% 0 0 $83,974 0.0%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 4 1.4% 0 1 $2,403,097 1.3%
Sub Total 34 12.3% 5 20 $19,276,168 11.1%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 23 8.3% 1 7 $14,440,307 8.3%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 10 3.6% 1 5 $2,255,486 1.3%
Sub Total 33 12.0% 2 12 $16,695,793 9.6%
Totals 275 100.0% 13 62 $173,465,021 100.0%
National, All Pipeline Systems, 2009
National Hazardous Liquid: Significant Incident Details: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 15 13.6% 0 0 $10,804,613 14.4%
INTERNAL CORROSION 8 7.2% 0 0 $2,815,446 3.7%
Sub Total 23 20.9% 0 0 $13,620,059 18.2%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 3.6% 0 0 $633,171 0.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 12 10.9% 0 0 $4,097,753 5.4%
Sub Total 16 14.5% 0 0 $4,730,925 6.3%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 14 12.7% 4 3 $10,525,924 14.0%
Sub Total 14 12.7% 4 3 $10,525,924 14.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 1 0.9% 0 0 $2,934,954 3.9%
BODY OF PIPE 4 3.6% 0 0 $10,731,727 14.3%
PIPE SEAM 3 2.7% 0 0 $1,264,907 1.6%
BUTT WELD 3 2.7% 0 0 $1,221,896 1.6%
FILLET WELD 3 2.7% 0 0 $909,273 1.2%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 7 6.3% 0 0 $1,487,594 1.9%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 3 2.7% 0 0 $762,196 1.0%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 5 4.5% 0 0 $1,545,200 2.0%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 10 9.0% 0 0 $2,108,748 2.8%
Sub Total 39 35.4% 0 0 $22,966,498 30.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 0.9% 0 0 $136,021 0.1%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 1.8% 0 0 $5,017,379 6.7%
LIGHTNING 2 1.8% 0 0 $3,428,346 4.5%
TEMPERATURE 3 2.7% 0 0 $384,371 0.5%
HIGH WINDS 2 1.8% 0 0 $11,370,415 15.2%
Sub Total 10 9.0% 0 0 $20,336,533 27.1%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.9% 0 0 $172,926 0.2%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.9% 0 1 $1,347,896 1.8%
Sub Total 2 1.8% 0 1 $1,520,823 2.0%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 6 5.4% 0 0 $1,120,320 1.5%
Sub Total 6 5.4% 0 0 $1,120,320 1.5%
Totals 110 100.0% 4 4 $74,821,085 100.0%
National, Hazardous Liquid, 2009
National Hazardous Liquid Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 13 11.8% 0 0 $10,559,810 14.1%
INTERNAL CORROSION 8 7.2% 0 0 $2,815,446 3.7%
Sub Total 21 19.0% 0 0 $13,375,256 17.8%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 4 3.6% 0 0 $633,171 0.8%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 12 10.9% 0 0 $4,097,753 5.4%
Sub Total 16 14.5% 0 0 $4,730,925 6.3%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 14 12.7% 4 3 $10,525,924 14.0%
Sub Total 14 12.7% 4 3 $10,525,924 14.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 1 0.9% 0 0 $2,934,954 3.9%
BODY OF PIPE 4 3.6% 0 0 $10,731,727 14.3%
PIPE SEAM 3 2.7% 0 0 $1,264,907 1.6%
BUTT WELD 3 2.7% 0 0 $1,221,896 1.6%
FILLET WELD 3 2.7% 0 0 $909,273 1.2%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 7 6.3% 0 0 $1,487,594 1.9%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 3 2.7% 0 0 $762,196 1.0%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 5 4.5% 0 0 $1,545,200 2.0%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 10 9.0% 0 0 $2,108,748 2.8%
Sub Total 39 35.4% 0 0 $22,966,498 30.7%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 1 0.9% 0 0 $136,021 0.1%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 1.8% 0 0 $5,017,379 6.7%
LIGHTNING 2 1.8% 0 0 $3,428,346 4.5%
TEMPERATURE 3 2.7% 0 0 $384,371 0.5%
HIGH WINDS 1 0.9% 0 0 $6,708 0.0%
Sub Total 9 8.1% 0 0 $8,972,826 11.9%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 1 0.9% 0 0 $172,926 0.2%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 1 0.9% 0 1 $1,347,896 1.8%
Sub Total 2 1.8% 0 1 $1,520,823 2.0%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 6 5.4% 0 0 $1,120,320 1.5%
Sub Total 6 5.4% 0 0 $1,120,320 1.5%
Totals 107 97.2% 4 4 $63,212,575 84.4%
National, Hazardous Liquid Onshore, 2009
National Hazardous Liquid Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 2 1.8% 0 0 $244,802 0.3%
Sub Total 2 1.8% 0 0 $244,802 0.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HIGH WINDS 1 0.9% 0 0 $11,363,706 15.1%
Sub Total 1 0.9% 0 0 $11,363,706 15.1%
Totals 3 2.7% 0 0 $11,608,509 15.5%
National, Hazardous Liquid Offshore, 2009
National Gas Transmission: Significant Incident Details: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 5 6.8% 0 0 $3,091,236 5.5%
INTERNAL CORROSION 7 9.5% 0 0 $3,412,990 6.1%
Sub Total 12 16.4% 0 0 $6,504,227 11.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 5 6.8% 0 0 $3,894,304 6.9%
Sub Total 5 6.8% 0 0 $3,894,304 6.9%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 1 1.3% 0 1 $1,059 0.0%
Sub Total 1 1.3% 0 1 $1,059 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 2.7% 0 3 $1,227,800 2.2%
BODY OF PIPE 1 1.3% 0 0 $267,641 0.4%
PIPE SEAM 3 4.1% 0 0 $2,962,324 5.3%
BUTT WELD 6 8.2% 0 0 $10,997,790 19.7%
FILLET WELD 1 1.3% 0 0 $102,829 0.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 2 2.7% 0 0 $540,665 0.9%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 6 8.2% 0 0 $929,783 1.6%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 4 5.4% 0 0 $429,513 0.7%
Sub Total 25 34.2% 0 3 $17,458,349 31.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 2.7% 0 0 $1,063,378 1.9%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 5 6.8% 0 0 $5,350,587 9.6%
LIGHTNING 1 1.3% 0 0 $236,869 0.4%
Sub Total 8 10.9% 0 0 $6,650,836 11.9%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 3 4.1% 0 2 $7,270,152 13.0%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 7 9.5% 0 1 $4,957,340 8.8%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 1.3% 0 0 $83,974 0.1%
Sub Total 11 15.0% 0 3 $12,311,468 22.0%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 10 13.7% 0 4 $8,808,073 15.8%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 1.3% 0 0 $113,888 0.2%
Sub Total 11 15.0% 0 4 $8,921,962 16.0%
Totals 73 100.0% 0 11 $55,742,206 100.0%
National, Gas Transmission, 2009
National Gas Transmission Onshore: Significant Incident Details: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 4 5.4% 0 0 $2,975,258 5.3%
INTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.3% 0 0 $198,540 0.3%
Sub Total 5 6.8% 0 0 $3,173,798 5.6%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 5 6.8% 0 0 $3,894,304 6.9%
Sub Total 5 6.8% 0 0 $3,894,304 6.9%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 1 1.3% 0 1 $1,059 0.0%
Sub Total 1 1.3% 0 1 $1,059 0.0%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRACKING-RELATED 2 2.7% 0 3 $1,227,800 2.2%
BODY OF PIPE 1 1.3% 0 0 $267,641 0.4%
PIPE SEAM 3 4.1% 0 0 $2,962,324 5.3%
BUTT WELD 6 8.2% 0 0 $10,997,790 19.7%
FILLET WELD 1 1.3% 0 0 $102,829 0.1%
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 2 2.7% 0 0 $540,665 0.9%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 6 8.2% 0 0 $929,783 1.6%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 4 5.4% 0 0 $429,513 0.7%
Sub Total 25 34.2% 0 3 $17,458,349 31.3%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 2 2.7% 0 0 $1,063,378 1.9%
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 3 4.1% 0 0 $586,656 1.0%
LIGHTNING 1 1.3% 0 0 $236,869 0.4%
Sub Total 6 8.2% 0 0 $1,886,905 3.3%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
FIRE/EXPLOSION AS PRIMARY CAUSE 3 4.1% 0 2 $7,270,152 13.0%
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 5 6.8% 0 1 $2,339,420 4.2%
PREVIOUS MECHANICAL DAMAGE 1 1.3% 0 0 $83,974 0.1%
Sub Total 9 12.3% 0 3 $9,693,547 17.3%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 8 10.9% 0 4 $7,223,749 12.9%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 1 1.3% 0 0 $113,888 0.2%
Sub Total 9 12.3% 0 4 $7,337,638 13.1%
Totals 60 82.1% 0 11 $43,445,602 77.9%
National, Gas Transmission Onshore, 2009
National Gas Transmission Offshore: Significant Incident Details: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.3% 0 0 $115,978 0.2%
INTERNAL CORROSION 6 8.2% 0 0 $3,214,450 5.7%
Sub Total 7 9.5% 0 0 $3,330,428 5.9%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 2 2.7% 0 0 $4,763,930 8.5%
Sub Total 2 2.7% 0 0 $4,763,930 8.5%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 2 2.7% 0 0 $2,617,920 4.7%
Sub Total 2 2.7% 0 0 $2,617,920 4.7%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 2 2.7% 0 0 $1,584,323 2.8%
Sub Total 2 2.7% 0 0 $1,584,323 2.8%
Totals 13 17.8% 0 0 $12,296,603 22.0%
National, Gas Transmission Offshore, 2009
National Gas Gathering: Significant Incident Details: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
INTERNAL CORROSION 8 66.6% 0 0 $13,776,034 78.7%
Sub Total 8 66.6% 0 0 $13,776,034 78.7%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 1 8.3% 0 0 $2,293,567 13.1%
THREADED CONNECTION/COUPLING FAILURE 1 8.3% 0 0 $212,316 1.2%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 1 8.3% 0 0 $151,373 0.8%
Sub Total 3 25.0% 0 0 $2,657,257 15.1%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
HEAVY RAINS/FLOODS 1 8.3% 0 0 $1,059,750 6.0%
Sub Total 1 8.3% 0 0 $1,059,750 6.0%
Totals 12 100.0% 0 0 $17,493,042 100.0%
National, Gas Gathering, 2009
National Gas Distribution: Significant Incident Details: 2009
Reported Cause of Incident (B) Number (C) % Fatalities Injuries Property Damage (D) (E) % of Property Damage
CORROSION
EXTERNAL CORROSION 1 1.2% 0 0 $507,501 2.0%
Sub Total 1 1.2% 0 0 $507,501 2.0%
EXCAVATION DAMAGE
OPERATOR/CONTRACTOR EXCAVATION DAMAGE 2 2.5% 0 0 $193,568 0.7%
THIRD PARTY EXCAVATION DAMAGE 17 21.2% 1 7 $4,302,383 16.9%
Sub Total 19 23.7% 1 7 $4,495,951 17.6%
INCORRECT OPERATION
UNSPECIFIED INCORRECT OPERATION 5 6.2% 0 6 $286,518 1.1%
Sub Total 5 6.2% 0 6 $286,518 1.1%
MAT'L/WELD/EQUIP FAILURE
JOINT/FITTING/COMPONENT 5 6.2% 0 2 $842,269 3.3%
MALFUNCTION OF CONTROL/RELIEF EQUIPMENT 2 2.5% 0 0 $1,520,368 5.9%
NON-THREADED CONNECTION FAILURE 1 1.2% 0 1 $158,962 0.6%
Sub Total 8 10.0% 0 3 $2,521,599 9.9%
NATURAL FORCE DAMAGE
EARTH MOVEMENT 6 7.5% 1 4 $3,344,716 13.1%
TEMPERATURE 4 5.0% 0 3 $2,155,011 8.4%
Sub Total 10 12.5% 1 7 $5,499,727 21.6%
OTHER OUTSIDE FORCE DAMAGE
VEHICLE NOT ENGAGED IN EXCAVATION 18 22.5% 5 16 $4,388,675 17.2%
INTENTIONAL DAMAGE 3 3.7% 0 0 $1,055,200 4.1%
Sub Total 21 26.2% 5 16 $5,443,876 21.4%
ALL OTHER CAUSES
MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE 7 8.7% 1 3 $4,511,913 17.7%
UNKNOWN CAUSE 9 11.2% 1 5 $2,141,597 8.4%
Sub Total 16 20.0% 2 8 $6,653,510 26.1%
Totals 80 100.0% 9 47 $25,408,686 100.0%
National, Gas Distribution, 2009

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 - July 3, 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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