Olympic Pipe Line Pipeline rupture and fire - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Olympic Pipe Line Pipeline rupture and fire

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  1. Olympic Pipe Line Pipeline rupture and fire Presented by Chief Randall Carroll City of Bellingham, Washington

  2. Bellingham • Population 75, 000 • 85 miles north of Seattle • On Bellingham Bay • Several lakes/mountain areas • Extensive park system • Community involvement

  3. Bellingham Fire Department • 6 Fire stations • 5 engines • 1 ladder/rescue • 4 full time medic units • 1 Battalion Chief • 1 County medic station

  4. Whatcom Creek Incident • Olympic Pipe Line • From Cherry Point to Portland • Fuels Sea Tac Airport • 400 mile pipeline installed 1965 • 16 inch diameter steel - at 800-1100 P.S.I.

  5. Whatcom Creek Incident • Whatcom Falls Park • Located on eastern edge of city Lake Whatcom • Pride of the community • Water treatment plant • Fish hatchery • Heavy use in summer

  6. Whatcom Creek Incident

  7. Recipe for disaster • June 10, 1999 • Approx. 1530 hrs. pipeline ruptures- Olympic computer shut down • Pipeline restarted 45 min.s later • Flowed approximately 17 minutes • Pumps shut down

  8. Recipe for disaster • Unleaded gasoline • Ruptures next to water pump station • 230,000 gallons leak • Fuel flows into Hannah & Whatcom Creeks

  9. Recipe for disaster • 911 call “outdoor chemical smell” • single engine response • Additional calls - incident upgraded • Product has flowed 1 mile downstream

  10. Recipe for disaster • E-54’s views: • Creek churning “muddy yellow” with product • Vapors 10 feet high flowing over roadway • E-54’s actions: • Establishes Command • Upgrades incident • Blocks roadway

  11. Recipe for disaster • Battalion One arrives • Assumes Command • Orders evacuation of businesses/homes along Iowa • Orders closing of all streets crossing creek • Orders crews to find source of leak

  12. “It’s running! It’s running!!!” • Fumes overcome 18 year old fisherman • Two boys playing by creek light a lighter • Fire travels 1.5 miles • Explosion knocks out water pumps

  13. June 10, 19995:02 PM

  14. Scope of the problem identified • “It was like trying to gauge the size of an elephant by looking at it’s toenail!”

  15. Post explosion actions • Scene security • Search and Rescue • Treat burn patients • Structure fire combat • Brush fire combat • Foam Whatcom Creek

  16. Bellingham Fire S.E.R.P. County Fire Districts BPD/WCSO/DEM Search & Rescue Mountain Rescue Coast Guard/Navy Public Works State/Federal agencies The initial “Players”

  17. Response challenges • Incident size • Level of response • 30 fire apparatus • Approximately 200 on scene personnel • Resources not requested • Aircraft

  18. Challenges cont... • Command/Communications • Multiple agencies • Burn victims • Emotional impact • Community • Responders

  19. Liam Wood, 18 Stephen Tsiorvas, 10 Wade King, 10

  20. Challenges cont... • Traffic/Access • Public Information • Utilities compromised • Water • Sewer • Power • Cellular phones

  21. Unified Command“Wow, we need to fill all the boxes!” • E. P. A. • D.O.E. • Olympic Pipe Line • City of Bellingham • D.E.M. • N.T.S.B.

  22. Strategic objectives • Responder/site safety • Minimize long term environmental impact • Secure source/minimize additional release • Reassure public/agencies/public officials of Olympic intent to minimize short/long term spill impact.

  23. The Machine • Met x2 a day • Approved all I.A.P.’s • Coordinated respective agency operations • Approved all joint press releases

  24. Incident complexities • Compromised water supply • Product in sewer system • Environmental issues • Political/Legal/Investigation • Critical Incident Stress • Planning/logistics • Intense media interest

  25. Community impact • Psychological • Dead children • Sense of security threatened • Community landmark destroyed • City infrastructure • 1/3 of the water supply threatened • Environmental impact • City staff response

  26. Unified Command Considerations • Safety issues • Competing priorities • Players without needed Haz Mat “blessing” • UC takes time to fully develop • Public Information was crucial! • City government needs IMS training

  27. Action items • Learn from this incident! • Adopt and train on city disaster plan • Improve emergency communications • Public notification • Electronic • Share our experience • Lobby for pipeline safety

  28. QUESTIONS?