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NiSource: 'something went terribly wrong' at pipeline

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The CEO of Columbia Gas Transmission subsidiary said Friday that "something went terribly wrong" with one of the company's natural gas pipelines and promised to find out what.

Jimmy Staton, CEO of the NiSource subsidiary, issued an "open letter" to "the families of Kanawha County" about Tuesday's massive explosion and fire at a pipeline near Sissonville.

"As the investigation into this incident continues, I want to share with you our commitments to the Sissonville community and to all those who have concerns about this incident," Staton said.

So far this week, NiSource and Columbia Gas Transmission have generally declined to answer questions about the Tuesday incident.

In his letter, Staton promised his company would "do the right thing" by families impacted and he thanked emergency responders and community members for assistance during and after the explosion and subsequent fire.

"I know the people of Kanawha County want answers, and rest assured, we will work with the National Transportation Safety Board to find the cause of this incident," the letter said.

"Our primary responsibility is to ensure public safety through responsible operations," it said. "We are fully committed to supporting the NTSB investigation into this incident, and will take every step necessary to ensure the continued safety of our pipeline system."

Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kward@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.


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