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NTSB heads to pipeline rupture in W. Virginia

A 10-member go-team from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived in Sissonville, W. Virginia last night, ready to investigate the natural gas transmission pipeline rupture on Tuesday that destroyed four homes and sent several people to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

The explosion, involving a 20-inch gas transmission line which sent flames hundreds of feet into the air, destroyed four homes and damaged at least five others. No serious injuries were reported. A portion of Interstate 77 was closed and the area was evacuated within 1,000 feet of the explosion site.

The team’s mission is to find out what happened and why it happened in order to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.

"We are going to be all over the rupture site to try and document and look at it very carefully and in a few days will send in an expert look at the pipe and we will actually cut out a section and send to Washington, D.C.,” said Robert Sumwalt, NTSB board member.

The NTSB crew will be spend five days to a week in Sissonville, which is about ten miles outside of Charleston.

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