An inquiry committee, headed by Joint Secretary (Refineries) Rajesh Kumar Singh, in a report submitted last week concluded that negligence caused the fire at the Tatipaka-Kondapalli pipeline on June 27.
Sources said the committee found that the pipeline had corroded due to condensate and water that came along with the natural gas from an Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) field.
Water corroded bottom of the pipeline, causing pores in the underground pipeline. Gas was being transported at high pressure and it leaked along with flammable condensate leaked out to the surface on the night of June 26/27. Overcast weather lead to a cloud of gas being formed even as condensate sprayed on the ground.
A spark, possibly from a cigarette or bidi lit by a local, at 0545 hours on June 27 led to condensate and cloud of gas catching fire with a loud explosion.
The other source of the massive fire is being mentioned as a tea vendor lighting up a stove in the vicinity of the leak, scorching everything in a radius of about half a km, including houses and vehicles, in Nagaram village of East Godavari district.
The exact source may not known as everything including the persons were charred, sources said.
Sources said gas should have been stripped of waste and condensate at GAIL's Nagaram facility before being pumped into the pipeline for transportation to a power plant.
Article Source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-08-17/news/52901514_1_gas-pipeline-gail-pipeline-gail-india-ltd
Publication Date: 17 August 2014