Gas companies reported 35 explosions and 32 ignitions at their transmission pipelines since 2010, according to federal records. During that same time period, 17 people died and 86 were injured in incidents involving the pipelines, including a September 2010 explosion in San Bruno, Calif., that killed eight and injured 51. In all, gas companies estimate incidents involving transmission pipelines have caused nearly $1 billion in damage since 2010. –Westmoreland Trib 2016
If you read and watch stories below, you will notice that that the transmission line explosions in the US occur in rural areas. That is because transmission lines usually do not get built in densely populated areas.
Sometimes because of urban sprawl a densely populated area expands to encompass a natural gas transmission line. This was the case in San Bruno, CA. Since San Bruno, regulations have been developed to set up safety precautions for new development around existing high-pressure pipelines. However, there are no safety regulations for building new pipelines in already developed areas.
Central Texas gas pipeline explosion under investigation
January 9, 2016 – Texas – KWTX
Natural Gas Explosion Reminds Us That Natural Gas Explodes
May 5, 2016 – Pennsylvania – Natural Resources Defense Council
Another day, another pipeline explosion
January 27, 2015 – West Virginia – Rachel Maddow Show
Mississippi Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion Picked Up By Radar
January 14, 2015 – Mississippi – WUnderground
1 injured when ruptured gas line causes explosion in Wharton County
June 26, 2014 – Texas – Click2Houston
Ukraine Suspects Terrorism in Pipeline Explosion
June 17, 2014 – Ukraine – NYTimes
25 dead, over 270 injured as multiple gas explosions hit Taiwan city
31 Jul, 2014 – Taiwan – Russian Times
Northwestern Minnesota gas pipeline explosion: ‘It was just hell on earth’
May 25, 2014 – Minnesota – Twin Cities Pioneer Press
Wikipedia also keeps a list of US pipeline explosions listing many additional incidents and 41 fatalities, 195 injuries, and $448,900,333 in property damage from transmission lines like the ones Duke Energy has proposed between 1994-2013.