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Reply #11


Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Jul 7, 2013, 12:48 PM

11. Pipelines can also be dangerous


This explosion happened in Bellingham, WA.

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=5468

At 3:25 p.m. on June 10, 1999, the Olympic Pipe Line Company was pumping gasoline thorough a 16-inch pipeline from a refinery in Ferndale, south to terminals in Seattle and Portland, when a pressure relief valve failed. The resulting pressure surge led to a catastrophic rupture in the line traversing Whatcom Falls Park, and sent 277,200 gallons of highly volatile gasoline into Hanna Creek and Whatcom Creek, which flows through downtown Bellingham into Bellingham Bay.
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At 3:25 p.m. on June 10, 1999, the Olympic Pipe Line Company was pumping gasoline thorough a 16-inch pipeline from a refinery in Ferndale, south to terminals in Seattle and Portland, when a pressure relief valve failed. The resulting pressure surge led to a catastrophic rupture in the line traversing Whatcom Falls Park, and sent 277,200 gallons of highly volatile gasoline into Hanna Creek and Whatcom Creek, which flows through downtown Bellingham into Bellingham Bay.

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The Bellingham Fire Department’s investigation determined that Wade King and Stephen Tsiorvas ignited the gasoline vapor from the ruptured pipeline when they inadvertently lit a butane fireplace lighter near the spill in Whatcom Falls Park. The boys had been using the lighter to set off fireworks outside the park earlier in the day. Bellingham Fire Chief Mike Leigh gave his view that the boys were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Boys Saved Bellingham

In a twist of fate, King and Tsiorvas became unwitting heroes. In a statement to the news media on June 18, 1999, Bellingham Mayor Mark Asmendson said, “The cause of the fire was the fuel released from the Olympic pipeline. The fact that it was ignited was inevitable. With the thousands and thousands of gallons of fuel that were proceeding down Whatcom Creek, had the ignition not taken place where it did and at the time it did, the damage to this community and the loss of life would have been far greater. These boys completely, without notice or any awareness, were involved in an action that ended up being heroic for the city of Bellingham.”

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