State pipeline safety staff is continuing their investigation after Monday's explosion and fire at the Williams Northwest Pipeline Facility.
PLYMOUTH, WA - State pipeline safety staff is continuing their investigation after Monday's explosion and fire at the Williams Northwest Pipeline Facility.
Although staff can not yet access the facility, a Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission investigator is interviewing employees into the cause of the incident.
An accident coordinator with the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is also participating in the interviews. Federal law is also requiring all Williams employees to be drug and alcohol tested.
The UTC investigator, a pipeline engineer, has been at the scene since Monday afternoon. Due to the ongoing safety concerns however, he has not yet gained access to the site of the explosion.
Williams personnel and local public safety authorities are working to establish safe access. Investigators plan to use Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) to check for safety of the area. FLIR is used to see liquefied natural gas that can burn unseen by the naked eye.
The UTC is working closely with local authorities and state partners.
Established by the Legislature in 1955, the UTC's Pipeline Safety Program regulates the safety practices of 28 pipeline companies and conducts safety inspections on more than 24,000 miles of natural gas and hazardous-liquid pipelines in Washington. The UTC also regulates the private, investor-owned natural gas utilities in the state.