GLOUSTER — A Glouster-area resident’s federal lawsuit filed after a pipeline explosion has been settled.
Joe Hixson sued Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners following a gas line explosion that occurred the morning of Nov. 16, 2011. Kinder Morgan became the owner of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. several months after the explosion.
The blast sent fire hundreds of feet into the air and torched more than 50 acres. The sound of the explosion was reportedly heard by residents as far as 15 miles from the site. Emergency responders needed nearly four hours to douse the flames.
The lawsuit, also filed by Glouster-area resident Gladys Chrissy Sharp, sought damages in excess of $75,000. Sharp reached a settlement earlier this year.
Sharp and Hixson had claimed that their properties along Taylor Road were damaged in the explosion, and they claimed to have suffered emotional and psychological damages.
Neither Hixson nor his attorney could be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
The home of John and Kathy Sayers was destroyed by the explosion. The Sayerses reached a financial settlement with the gas line company for an undisclosed amount.
A root cause analysis was conducted on the pipeline by Dynamic Risk USA as well as Golder Associates and members of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. The determined cause of the pipeline’s failure was a pre-existing crack in a girth weld of the pipeline.
The crack was attributed to “displacement produced by a landslide and an inadequate understanding by (Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.) of the influence of the geotechnical threats on the pipeline in this location,” according to the report. Metallurgical analysis concluded that the crack, coupled with stresses from soil movement, created the explosion.
The failed pipeline was constructed in 1963 and was subject to an in-line inspection in June 2011, less than six months before the explosion.