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Faulty line repair points to LCY in Kaohsiung explosions
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-08-03 03:38 PM
Arson and forensic experts conducting an intensive inspection of the underground lines in Thursday night’s explosions in Kaohsiung are focusing on lines in the area around the intersection of Kaituo Road and Ersheng Road where some of the earliest and strongest blasts were recorded. So far they have found three lines which appear to be intact and seemingly unaffected by the explosions. One four-inch pipeline belonging to the LCY Chemical Corporation has been found to have a four-inch square patch that is loose and could be the source of the original leak in the series of explosions that rocked the downtown area of Kaohsiung. Pipeline experts have recommend that prosecutors utilize a pipeline inspection technology which inserts a video camera-equipped robots called a “pig” into a pipeline to conduct visual inspections of the insides of the line.

The Kaohsiung Fire Department Fire Investigation Bureau and Criminal Prosecutors have collected evidence from eight main areas where explosions occurred. The streets in the vicinity contain a number of underground pipelines including a 4-inch propylene pipeline used by Lee Chang Yung (LCY) Chemicals and well as 6-inch and 8-inch pipes belonging to CPDC and CNPC respectively. Initial inspections and a loose patch on one section of the LCY pipe would seem to indicate that it may have been the source of the original leaks and explosion.

Fire engineering expert He San-ping of Evergreen University notes, "If it was an internal explosion, if the blast occurred inside the tube, the tube should be torn open, but early inspection of some of the tubes shows that in fact the damage was very uniform, so any explosion would probably have occurred outside the pipelines."

Pipeline experts have recommended inserting the remote-control ‘pigs’ which run along pipelines on small wheels carrying video cameras to allow inspectors to closely review areas suspected of leaks or other problems.

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