Report on West Virginia gas pipeline explosion delayed by shutdown

Oct. 23, 2013 at 6:56 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A report on a West Virginia gas pipeline explosion is delayed because of the recent U.S. government shutdown, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

The natural gas pipeline reptured Dec. 11 in Sissonville, W.Va., near Charleston. No injuries were reported but several homes were destroyed or damaged.

A final report on the incident was delayed because of the 16-day shutdown caused by a congressional dispute on budget issues.

"The board members will consider the draft report before the end of the calendar year, but it will not be deliberated on Dec. 3 at the previously scheduled board meeting," the agency said.

The gas pipeline is operated by NiSource Gas Transmission and Storage.

The NTSB said some other projects also were delayed because of the shutdown.

There were 59 aviation accidents, a pipeline leak and the natural gas explosion during the shutdown, the board said.

NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said she was relieved that more than 300 employees furloughed during the shutdown were back to work.

"It is clear that safety was not served by the government shutdown," she said in a statement Tuesday.

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