No Cause Yet In Pipeline Blast

Aug 16, 2013

Credit Courtesy: Connie Huizenga and WHBF-TV

Investigators say they're not sure yet what caused the pipeline carrying ethane and propane to rupture in a Whiteside County cornfield Monday night, sending flames several hundred feet into the air.

The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is spearheading the probe. A spokesman for the agency says these investigations typically last about 20 months before a determination is made. He says part of the process will involve sending the ruptured pipe to a lab for test work.

Ultimately, investigators will try to find out if the operator was in compliance with federal regulations. The company, Enterprise Products, is working with the feds to determine what went wrong.

So far, there's been no word regarding any environmental damage. Workers were able to remotely to turn off a valve to limit gas flow to flow to the site. The Illinois EPA says it's aware of the incident. But the agency says it hasn't been directly involved with the investigation. news.