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Pipeline that ruptured in fatal Coolidge explosion installed nearly 40 years ago; was originally for crude oil

NTSB said a 46-foot section of the pipeline was ejected due to the explosion.
Credit: Coolidge Police Department

COOLIDGE, Ariz. — The pipeline that ruptured and exploded resulting in two dead and one injured in Coolidge in August was installed over three decades ago, the National Transportation Safety Board reported. 

The NTSB released a report on its preliminary investigation of the explosion on Wednesday, detailing that a 46-foot section of the pipeline was ejected as a result. 

Officials said the pipeline was installed in 1985 and was originally used to transport crude oil. It was converted to natural gas service about 20 years ago and acquired by Kinder Morgan in 2012.

Right before the explosion, the NTSB said the gas pressure of the pipeline was below the maximum allowed operating pressure. 

RELATED: Safety expert weighs in on Coolidge's deadly pipeline explosion

On August 15, around 5:30 a.m., the pipeline exploded 120 yards away from a family's home, killing a father and his daughter and injuring the mother. 

RELATED: Coolidge gas explosion was 120 yards from victims' home, officials said

The pipeline is owned by El Paso Natural Gas and its parent company, Kinder Morgan, which is one of the largest oil and gas infrastructure companies in the country. 

The company has had other pipelines rupture in the past, sometimes resulting in fatalities.

Kinder Morgan's gasoline pipeline from Texas to Tucson famously broke in 2003, spilling thousands of gallons of gasoline, shutting down for weeks, causing a gasoline shortage across Arizona. 

The company was fined $500,000 and had to pay $5.5 million for the environmental cleanup. 

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