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‘Abnormal’ Wall Thinning Found To Be Cause Of Steam Pipe Explosion

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Veolia released their findings into what caused a steam pipe explosion in downtown Baltimore back in June.

The steam pipe explosion happened on Eutaw Street, between Lombard and Pratt Streets.

Veolia determined that “abnormal pipe wall thinning,” cause the explosion, and the existing cast iron pipe have been replaced with ductile carbon steel to prevent wall thinning in the future.

There were several injuries caused by the explosion, along with extended clean up caused by the debris.

Asbestos was also found on the Holiday Inn building in downtown Baltimore following the explosion.

Read the full statement from Veolia below:

“Veolia carefully reviewed and analyzed the June 20th incident that occurred on Eutaw Street between Pratt Street and Lombard Street. A section of the steam pipe was excavated and inspected. The analysis determined the origin of the break showed evidence of abnormal pipe wall thinning. We have replaced the existing cast iron pipe with ductile carbon steel, and believe this will provide appropriate protection against thinning.

“This was an extremely rare and isolated event. Veolia operates the largest footprint of district energy systems in North America and we believe this may be the only instance where a system experienced this type of failure.

“Steam is one of the safest and most sustainable forms of energy. Safety is, without question, the highest priority at Veolia. We fully believe that the system is safe, and we are committed to using best practices to maintain its safety.”

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