PIPELINE ACCIDENT REPORT. SOUTHERN UNION GAS COMPANY EL PASO, TEXAS APRIL 22, 1973

The report describes and analyzes a natural gas explosion which occurred in El Paso, Texas, on April 22, 1973. The explosion destroyed 7 of 15 units in an apartment complex; 7 persons were killed, and 8 were hospitalized. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the explosion was the ignition of an accumulation of natural gas which had leaked primarily from a broken cast-iron reducer and to a lesser extent from two corrosion leaks in the distribution main. The gas migrated beneath the concrete road surface, permeated the area, entered the apartment complex via the crawl space, and was ignited by an undetermined source. The uncovering and disturbing of the cast-iron pipe by the gas company in an unsuccessful search for a gas leak 6 days before the accident contributed to the failure of the reducer.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Naval Ship Research and Development Center

    Advanced Ship Division
    Bethesda, MD  USA  20034
  • Publication Date: 1974-2-13

Media Info

  • Pagination: 22 p.

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00054546
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-PAR-74-2
  • Files: NTIS
  • Created Date: Jun 10 1974 12:00AM