Brand New State of the Art Pipeline Explodes

On Thursday, June 7th at 4:15 AM, residents in 3 states awoke to the sights and sounds of a high pressure transmission line that had ruptured and caught fire.  The inferno from Transcanada’s brand new, “best in class” Leach Xpress transmission line is a stark reminder that pipelines new and old can and do fail.  Transcanada began operation of this $1.6 billion pipeline in January 2018. 

Explosion Rocks 3-State Area

In Ohio,  residents for miles contacted 911 about the explosion. Callers reported sounds like that of an airplane, a tornado and a loud roar.  Emergency responders from 3 states were contacted and ready to respond to the event. 

A view of the fire taken from 20 miles away

Transcanada’s Rural Location vs. Duke’s Urban Location

This pipeline failure provides compelling support for why residents in Southwest Ohio are concerned about Duke Energy’s plans to build a high pressure transmission line through our densely populated neighborhoods.  While no one was seriously injured or killed in the Transcanada event, what would have happened had that same event blasted through communities like ours?

No homes within 1 mile of Transcanada's Leach Xpress
Hundreds of homes, businesses and vulnerable properties such as schools, day care centers and hospitals are close to Duke's Central Corridor Pipeline Routes.

What Caused the Blast?

The cause of the incident is unknown, at this point.  “With a little lightning or even static electricity from the pipeline rubbing on soil, a leak can become an explosion,” according to Najmedin Meshkati, an environmental engineering expert who investigates pipeline incidents. The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection are both onsite.

Photo taken by emergency responder

The Aftermath

While Transcanada says it cannot transport gas through the damaged Leach Xpress, other pipeline companies provide alternative routes, and the impact on U.S. gas supply is expected to be minor.  Much of the gas moving through the Leach Xpress is intended for export. 

However, the massive crater and destruction of over 10 acres of forests cannot be fixed so easily.

Destruction of acres of woodland caused by fire


  1. Contact the Ohio Power Siting Board.  Express your concerns about Duke’s pipeline — how it affects you, your family, and community.
  2. Sign this petition, asking the Ohio Power Siting Board to thoroughly review Duke’s entire application and provide sufficient time for those affected by Duke’s plans to do so, as well.
  3. Support NOPE’s efforts to protect our communities and hold Duke accountable.
Crater caused by explosion

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