Pipeline Safety Day includes mock leak at Burton Coliseum

Updated: Jun. 13, 2018 at 4:53 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's painfully obvious how disastrous it can be when a pipeline is ruptured. That's why there are safety experts that travel around the country demonstrating what can go wrong with the hope that those who dig will make sure things go right.

A mock pipeline leak, held at Burton Coliseum, shows how quickly things can go bad if those who dig don't prepare properly.  They say call 811 before you dig so pipeline locators can make sure an excavator won't bring on a disaster.

"You could get natural gas, you could get...propane, butane, ethane.  You could get gasoline or diesel fuel,maybe even sour crude oil or gas. There's a wide array of products that can be released if you're digging unsafely," said Greg Kittle with Enertech.

Kittle is from Wichita, Kansas and says they travel all over the country to promote safety and awareness.

"It's an extreme danger. Any of those chemicals or products that are in those facilities are and can be damaging. You always want to be upwind, you want to eliminate all ignition sources because something like that could escalate quickly," said Kittle.

Public works employees, first responders and others were here to learn and promote safety and compliance.

"Things can turn dangerous real quick. In fact, things can very deadly and you may not be in a position to where you can be responded to if you're in a remote area or if you're in a constricted area that makes it hard for first responders to make it to your location," explained Kittle.

But Kittle says homeowners should also take precautions.

"It should be a shovel.  A shovel depth.  I've come across lines just that deep where I live," said Kittle.

Monty Aucoin, with Calcasieu Public Works, appreciates the demonstration:

"It was great instruction for us to know what we're facing against when we're out there working and what to do when we run into these problems," said Aucoin.

So, say officials call 811 first to avoid  disaster ranging from property damage to fatalities.

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