Alabama pipeline reopens amid calls for investigation

AP & WiG reports

The Alabama  pipeline that exploded and erupted into flames in  last Monday went back into service this morning. Colonial Pipeline Co. says service on the gasoline pipeline was restarted at 5:45 a.m.

At least four congressional Democrats have called for an investigation of the company.

The most recent Alabama pipeline blast killed one person and injured five others. It also prompted evacuation of an area spanning three square miles, and it sparked a rise in gasoline prices on the East Coast.

The disaster occurred just a mile from where the same line suffered a massive leak in September that spilled at least 250,000 gallons of gasoline. The location is about 25 miles southwest of Birmingham.

The pipeline transports gasoline from the Gulf Coast to New York City. The most recent explosion occurred while a crew was making repairs related to the September spill. Government officials and Colonial Pipeline have said a piece of excavation equipment hit the pipeline, causing the explosion, but further details haven’t been released.

Think Progress reported that a House Democrats are calling for an investigation into the company

According to Think Progress, Rep. Frank Pallone, ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. Peter DeFazio, a ranking member of the Transportation Committee, and three other lawmakers signed a letter to the Department of Transportation requesting an investigation of the Colonial Pipeline Company.

“This is an unacceptable situation, and we are concerned that the number, frequency, and severity of significant incidents on Colonial’s system over the past five years could be symptomatic of severe underlying problems with the system and the company’s management of that system,” the lawmakers wrote. They also noted that the accident was the “third major incident on Colonial’s system in just over a year and the seventh in less than five years.”


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