Pipeline explodes in Platte County, previous explosions tied to same company

PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. - While investigators are trying to find a cause to Tuesday's pipeline explosion, the 41 Action News investigators have learned that this isn't the first explosion involving the same company.

RELATED | No injuries from fire when a gas pipeline ruptured in Platte County

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. is the operator of the pipeline. While its subsidiary, Mid-America Pipeline Company owns it, Enterprise is responsible for the integrity of the pipeline.

This summer two explosions rocked a BP gas plant that Enterprise Products Partners L.P. partially owns. No one was hurt in that incident.

However, the 41 Action News investigators learned at least two people have died in other explosions involving Enterprise.

In 2010, a contract worker died after striking an unmarked pipeline at one of the company's plants in Texas.

A jury found two entities belonging to Enterprise Products Partners L.P. negligent in the explosion. This year, The Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the $30 million judgment.

In 2011, another contract worker was killed when a plant in Texas owned by the company burst into flames.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulates pipelines.

Since 2006, more than $1.4 million in penalties was handed down to Enterprise Products Partners L.P.

No penalties were found for Mid-America Pipeline Company.

However, in 2012, both companies agreed to pay more than $1 million for violating the Clean Water Act after three gas spills occurred, one of which, took place in Kansas in 2010.

In regards to Tuesday's explosion, Rick Rainey, a spokesperson for Enterprise Products Partners L.P. told the 41 Action News investigators, "When you have an incident like this, it creates some concerns about pipelines. When you consider the large amounts of products that are transported on these pipelines everyday, they're the safest way to transport energy products. Without pipelines, more trucks and more trains would be traveling through cities."

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Jessica McMaster can be reached at jessica.mcmaster@kshb.com

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