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January 2011 Archives

Texas Couple Wedged Under Semi-Truck in Truck Accident Last Week

A Texas couple was involved in a dramatic truck accident last week. The man and woman from Lewisville had to be physically cut from their vehicle after it became wedged underneath the trailer bed of a semi-truck.The police report indicates the truck was taking a left turn onto the freeway when the couple already on the freeway drove their car underneath the tractor trailer bed. The incident occurred at roughly 2:40a.m. where Highway 121 intersects Interstate 35.Amidst freezing temperatures that served to further complicate the situation, it took emergency responders 20 minutes to retrieve the first occupant from the car. The second victim was a bit tougher to retrieve and was freed a short while later.The level of urgency and danger associated with the victims injuries from the trucking accident were heightened by the freezing air temperatures. The injured couple was taken by Careflite emergency services to a nearby trauma center for immediate treatment.

Open hearings will be held in San Bruno Pipeline explosion case

The California Public Utilities announced yesterday that hearings in the San Bruno fire case will be publicly held. California state regulators had taken some heat recently for trying to keep private their investigatory efforts around the pipeline explosion that destroyed an entire neighborhood back in September, killing eight and injuring many more.The push for openness around the September 9 natural gas pipeline explosion investigation came largely from The Utility Reform Network, the Consumer Federation of California, California Senator Mark Leno and a local attorney already involved in the case. The chief concern of these groups and individuals is that state regulators were operating largely in private, that the San Bruno pipeline explosion was an event that affected a large enough portion of the local populace to warrant complete transparency in the ensuing investigation.

Oil Spill Commission Releases Report on Deepwater Horizon Accident, P.3

Over the course of our last two posts, we have discussed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster that rocked the Gulf of Mexico for months last spring. A report released last week by America's national Oil Spill Commission places blame on a few private and public key contributors to the industrial accident. Details of the report's recommendations for implementation of a "safety case" model were partially discussed in our last post. That discussion concludes here. The commission noted in their report that the American Petroleum Institute (API) has a consistent track record of criticizing and resisting such safety initiatives recommended in their latest report. It's safe to assume this is why the commission is recommending a specific governmental "Safety Institute" be established to enforce safety standards without regard for industry advocacy. The API has already taken a critical stance in dismissing the commission's report for using one incident to cast doubt on the effectiveness of safety measures being employed by the entire oil drilling industry. The intent of the report though is clear in that it doesn't aim to bog down the industry with myriad regulations, thereby bringing oil production to a halt. Instead, the report makes note to indicate how safely deepwater drilling efforts can potentially be executed. The commission cautions the industry that the safety of future expansion efforts into uncharted waters could benefit greatly from the safety case regulatory model.

Oil Spill Commission Releases Report on Deepwater Horizon Accident, P.2

In our last post, we discussed the official report on last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster released by America's national Oil Spill Commission last week. The report cited not only the ignorance and unpreparedness of British Petroleum, Halliburton and Transocean as contributing factors to the industrial accident, but also took to task the U.S. government agency assigned to promoting the expansion of drilling in the gulf for their lack of balancing expansion with necessary safety measures. In this post, we will discuss the some of the recommendations found within the Oil Spill Commission's report.

Oil Spill Commission Releases Report on Deepwater Horizon Accident, P.1

America's national Oil Spill Commission released their official report last week on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster that occurred in the spring of last year. The commission's report finds the scope of actual damage was mitigated from initial speculation due to the assistance of multiple environmental factors, yet the industrial accident still demonstrated very little sympathy in its assault on the economic health of states bordering the gulf.The commission details multiple factors that lead to the ultimate mishandling of the situation. These of course include the three private companies most directly involved which are owner of the rig British Petroleum and the two agencies contracted to work on the rig, Halliburton and Transocean. Though in an interesting twist, the commission's report also calls out a key US government agency's ineptitude as a significant contributing factor to the industrial accident.

Deadly Pipeline Accident Kills 28, P.2

In our last post, we discussed a tragic pipeline accident that occurred in Mexico last month, killing 28 and injuring 54. Over 100 homes were destroyed throughout a three-mile radius. Thieves allegedly tapped into pipelines near San Martin Texmelucan owned by Mexico's state-owned oil production company Pemex and were unable to contain unsteady oil flowing from the taps. A spark ignited the crude and a devastating eruption ensued.It's interesting to learn that this sort of pipeline tapping scam is not a unique occurrence. Pemex's reports on the matter detail more than 600 illegal taps into their pipelines throughout the country just last year. 60 of these illegal taps were illegally inflicted in close proximity to the piping that caused last month's deadly explosion. Pemex's director general Juan Jose Suarez indicated illegal taps such as the one that caused the explosion only create leaks in as little as 3 percent of cases.

Deadly Pipeline Accident Kills 28, P.1

By now you may have heard about the deadly pipeline accident that claimed the lives of 28 people near the San Martin Texmelucan, Puebla pumping station last month. Early in the morning of Sunday December 19th, over 100 homes nearby were set ablaze by the crude oil pipeline explosion. In addition to the death toll, 52 people were injured by the blast. The damaged crude oil lines were owned by Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, Mexico's state-funded oil production company.Pemex released a statement on its website shortly after the tragedy, speculating that blame for the incident may lie with those engaging in illegal activities. Further investigation was in order.Last week, it was reported by Dow Jones that the blast was very likely caused by illegal activity and that 45 Pemex employees were recently terminated in connection with suspicious activity related to the pipeline accident. The company suspects oil was being siphoned from their pipelines, causing uncontrollable oil flows. Thieves were likely unable to control the flow rate through their makeshift pipelines and siphons, causing the misplaced fuel to flow more than half a mile down a populated city street. The volatile oil flow was accidentally ignited on the morning of the 19th.

Two Truck Accidents on Texas Highways Within The Last 24 Hours

There has been trouble on Texas highways over the last 24 hours with regard to trucking accidents. Interstate 30 was closed most of the early morning hours due to a fiery crash that occurred west of Dallas just before 2:00 am today. A gasoline tanker truck appears to have crashed into a car after striking the median on eastbound I-30. Drivers and passengers in the vehicles sustained serious injuries, though none appear to be life threatening. A team of Hazardous materials experts were deployed on scene because some gas from the rig managed to spill into a creek running near the highway. Fire-Rescue workers were also called to the scene due to some flames resulting from the truck accident. It is currently unknown as to why the truck hit the median, though the situation is now under investigation by the Texas Department of Transportation as well as by local law enforcement.

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