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    Default pipeline explosion

    If any one is from the Viola area can you give anymore details about the incident. Have not learned much from the news reports here.
    Inquiring minds want to know.

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    Default I'm from around there!

    80FIRE:
    I will PM you with an email addy. It is for one of the chiefs who responded. He can fill you in. Viola, Sherrard, Aledo, New Windsor and Alpha all responded. I have many friends on all of them. It was quite a fire!
    Take care.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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    Default 80FIRE; this just in!

    Blast leaves rural Illinois field with a 40-foot crater
    By Barb Ickes
    Quad-City Times

    VIOLA, IL – The crater that was left in a farm field after Sunday’s natural gas pipeline explosion hear here is 25 feet deep, 40 feet wide and, one firefighter said Monday, “looks like the surface of the moon.”
    Dense fog that blanketed much of rural Mercer County and the rest of the region Monday made it difficult for curiosity-seekers to catch a glimpse of the charred hillside surrounding the explosion site. But, even without the fog, it is unlikely a passer-by could have seen the gigantic crater in the farm field between Viola and New Windsor.
    Investigators and police continued Monday to block the few country lanes that lead onto the farmland between 280th and 290th streets.
    “It’s not up to me, but I think it’s really important for people to see it,” New Windsor Fire Chief Larry Roberts said. “There’s people out there who are living on top of these things. It’s like the surface of the moon out there, with the ground all red and crunchy,” he said. “It gives you an eerie, outer space feeling.”
    Roberts said it was not just people on the ground who saw the 500-foot-high flames shooting out of the earth Sunday night.
    “The FBI was dispatched out here because pilots on their way to O’Hare reported seeing this giant fireball,” he said. “Of course, we’re sensitive to this kind of thing right now, and this was bigger than anything I’ve ever seen.”
    The blaze forced the evacuation of about a dozen homes in the vicinity. It started about 6:30 p.m. in a 24-inch gas line owned by ANR Pipeline, a subsidiary of El Paso Corp., based in Houston. The line runs from Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico.
    Mel Scott, a spokesman for ANR Pipeline, said Monday that investigators from Houston were at the scene to help find the cause of the explosion. He said it was impossible to predict how long that will take.
    “Every one is different,” he said. “These investigations take time.”
    He categorized the explosion as “extremely rare.”
    Asked whether ANR or El Paso Corp. would characterize the explosion as major, he said, “We consider all of them very important, but I wouldn’t want to speculate on that.”
    He said determining how much gas was burned up in the blaze will not be part of the investigation.
    “We’re not really concerned about that,” he added.
    Scott said residents in the area surrounding the ruptured gas line were never without gas service, despite the explosion. He said the company was able to bypass the faulty line without disrupting service.
    Paul Harlander, who lives about a quarter-mile from the blast site, said he returned to his home about 10 a.m. Monday and realized most of the police roadblocks in the area had been removed. But he was still marveling over what he had witnessed the night before.
    “The heat from that thing was so intense I could feel it here at my place,” he said. “The pipeline runs about 200 feet from my house and I was afraid the fire was gonna just keep moving my way. I didn’t bother getting the car out of the garage,” he added. “I just stepped outside and started running.”
    Upon hearing and seeing the fireball, the first thought to pop into Harlander’s mind was not that a gas line had exploded.
    “I actually thought it was one of those Arab attacks,” he said. “I thought they were aiming for the Arsenal and fell short.”
    No matter what the cause turns out to be, Roberts said everyone living in the area is “extremely lucky” to be alive.
    He pointed to the hundreds of chunks of darkened earth, many of them larger than computer monitors that flew several hundred feet onto neighboring fields.
    “It’s truly amazing that nothing was hit by all of this,” he said. “Actually, it’s almost impossible to believe."

    Here's an ensuing editorial.

    Too quiet after explosion
    By QUAD-CITY TIMES STAFF
    Don’t sigh in relief too quickly that the Mercer County gas pipeline explosion injured no one and caused no apparent damage beyond a charred hole in a farm field.
    With five natural gas pipelines running beneath the Quad-Cities, everyone has a reason for concern.
    We wish ANR Pipeline Co. was more forthcoming with some answers.
    We have some questions, but so far, ANR has done little more than confirm what anyone with in earshot of Mercer County already knew.
    Unimpressive.
    The federal Office of Pipeline Safety statistics shows 77 accidents in 2002 on natural gas transmission lines. Those are the long, cross-country pipes, not the distribution lines that deliver gas to customers.
    Seven of those accidents caused explosions. Five ignited, much like Sunday’s accident near Viola, Ill.
    Three onshore incidents last year involved ANR property:
    • Shelbyville, Ind. — A pipe seam weld in a 44-year-old pipe manufactured by A.O. Smith gave way about 2 p.m. Sept. 9. There was no explosion or evacuation. The cause was undetermined. The repair bill was $131,000.
    • Columbus, Ind. — A puncture at 8:30 a.m. April 8 in a 45-year-old pipeline forced the evacuation of six people, but caused no fire. The cause was undetermined. Damage was estimated at $143,800.
    • Patterson, La. — A rupture at 2 a.m. May 31 at an above-ground storage tank caused an explosion that still is under investigation. No one was injured. Damage was estimated at $2.5 million.
    In the past 10 years, gas transmission line accidents have killed 29 people, injured 121 and caused $257 million in property damage.
    The last time pipelines were big news in the Quad-Cities, Alliance Pipeline Co. was building one.
    Alliance is in no way connected to the explosion that occurred on another company’s line in rural Mercer County.
    Alliance reps were everywhere at that time, meeting with rural landowners, touting safety records and generally trying to convince the Quad-Cities that adding a fifth natural gas pipeline through the community was a good idea. We suggest ANR show that level of responsiveness in the aftermath of this accident.
    In the wake of Sunday’s explosion, ANR has designated one guy in Houston to handle public questions.
    He confirmed what was on Monday’s Page 1, but needed more time to provide essential information, such as:
    How old is the ANR line beneath Mercer County?
    What is its maintenance record?
    What is the process for determining cause?
    Does it include inspection of remaining portions of the pipeline?
    The answers most certainly exist in the detailed reports required by the Office of Pipeline Safety.
    We’re relatively certain ANR will listen to federal regulators in Washington.
    We’d like to see the same level of accountability to those living on top of the pipeline.

    Hope you enjoyed it. I'll send a picture as soon as I trim it down to 90,000 bytes.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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    Default thanks chief

    Thanks for the update Chief Reason. Wanted to let you know I received your PM late last night. Just got home from a trustees meeting and have not had time to e-mail for the info you gave. I had thought maybe it was at a pump station or valve riser but it sounds like it was out in the middle of nowhere. Must of been one H@$$ of a boom!
    Thanks for the info.

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