Fill Your Tanks, Again


The headline says it all. Seven injured in the blast. More here (H/T Mike for the link) and additional developing coverage here.

From the last article:

Gov. Robert Bentley says in a statement that the explosion happened Monday on the Colonial gas pipeline, about a mile west of the spot where it burst last month. That rupture led to gasoline shortages across the South.

If once is an accident, what’s twice?

24 thoughts on “Fill Your Tanks, Again

    1. “We got this on lock…”

      As for SoVA- Every teenage kid with a wife beater, gold chain, and jacked up 97 Silverado on Riverside Drive will be panicking. I’m sure of it.

      1. My favorite is the ’93 Tacoma ‘THE YOTA!’ with 35s rubbing as it turns in and a 2×4 dog box in the back. It’s like the only two places a Tacoma/Hilux can go when it dies is SWVA or Iraq. I was unaware of the venerated gas station hangout until I moved up here, I drove by like 3 gas stations the first time I tried to fill up on a Friday night in VA thinking there was something going on. Bubba’s was a great place to grab a cone though.

  1. Henry Bowman

    In the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., the Moscow Rules are given as:[2]

    Assume nothing.
    Never go against your gut.
    Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
    Do not look back; you are never completely alone.
    Go with the flow, blend in.
    Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.
    Lull them into a sense of complacency.
    Do not harass the opposition.
    Pick the time and place for action.
    Keep your options open.

    Other rules which have been circulated around the Internet and used in fiction include:[citation needed]

    Murphy is right. (i.e., “What can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment.”)
    Any operation can be aborted. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.
    Maintain a natural pace.
    Build in opportunity, but use it sparingly.
    Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. (Borrowed from Muhammad Ali.)
    There is no limit to a human being’s ability to rationalize the truth.
    Technology will always let you down.
    Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action. (Taken from Ian Fleming’s novel Goldfinger)
    Do not attract attention, even by being overly careful.

    Sage advice to me….

    1. I always conjure Shirley Bassey’s bellowing pipes whenever Goldfinger is referenced-

      The timing is odd.

      The coincidence is odd.

      Elsewhere the violent non-violence arm of the Green Party has been at odds with police over…a…pipeline.

      1. Scurvy

        It may just be that some in-scrupulousness contractor substituted inferior materials from an overseas supplier and this just the result of crappy materials failing. Remember the bridge over the Mississippi near St. Paul MN?

        Then again……….

      2. It very well could be. But how often do these pipelines blow up? How often do they fail twice in almost the same spot?

        It’s definitely possible that hasty repairs led to corners being cut. But being in a rural spot (little supervision) with a history and a charged political climate (people who’ve shown culpability already) I wouldn’t rule out any form of malice.

      3. “Elsewhere the violent non-violence arm of the Green Party has been at odds with police over…a…pipeline.”

        Funny, I had the exact same thought as I read the news about the pipeline, last night.
        “There are no coincidences. Only connections you haven’t discovered yet.”

  2. Pingback: Check Your POL | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  3. probably the russians trying to influence the elections again. won’t be nothing in the news for the next few days except for massive details about the effects of this damage. will last all thru the next two weeks. how convenient. could someone running for high political office be desperate enough and willing to pull this off?

  4. Louis

    Age. Most pipelines are not designed to live more than 30 years. Although we continue to replace sections and patch pits. Also, we(I work for a large natural gas mlp) have experienced some shut-ins with mal-intent recently. Mainline valves etc… Sportiness ensues. Heh!

  5. “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity” -RAH

    Having worked on construction sites for over 40 years, I can testify to the massive degree of idiocy occasionally seen. It is getting worse than it used to be, too, and the language barrier is contributing as well.

    We had a safety meeting yesterday on one of the projects I oversee and the general contractor had an interpreter for the Spanish-speaking crew members, which was most of them. Probably a third of them cannot read or write IN SPANISH.

    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen crews start to screw something up, I could pay for 2 weeks in the Bahamas and have money left over. Usually the mistakes are caught (by the foreman or the super) before they happen, and almost always before someone gets killed, but not always….

    My wife once asked me why I moved over when driving past roadside construction sites, y’know, when the excavators are working right beside the road behind the jersey barriers. I explained that the guys doing that work are really good, but it only takes a moment’s inattention to do serious damage to a passing vehicle. She said that she was sorry she asked. Now we both move over.

    I can easily imagine one possible scene at the pipeline site-

    Surveyor (pointing)- “DO NOT dig on the right side of this line, OK? That would be very bad, mu malo, comprende?

    Crew foreman- (nodding) “Si, yes senor, comprende!”

    Surveyor leaves.

    Foreman to excavator operator- (In Spanish) ” So, you dig on the right side of that line, OK?…….”

    (I’m not dumping on the Spanish speaking guys. They work very hard, especially the Cuban expats, as hard as the Scots-Irish rednecks, which is saying something, but the language barrier is a real issue.)

    Another scenario is that the line was not where the surveyor located it, which is quite possible too. I have hit enough unmarked utilities in my career to believe that, Miss Utility and modern locating equipment notwithstanding.

    1. You’re absolutely right about the carelessness and the whole Occam’s Razor.

      But…it’s suspicion worthy. There’s no denying that.

  6. 55six

    I filled up both trucks last night and this AM I went back with two 6gal cans to get more diesel and gasoline. There were some guys at the station with cans last night and i asked them if they knew about the pipeline. They said FB was blowing up about it so…. info will likely spread faster this go around. -55six

  7. Let’s compare some mental notes on this issue. Last time, in September, it was two weeks before the news was put out over anything but local news to Alabama. This time it was two days, and as I stopped to fill up this morning a local Marathon station only had mid grade, pre-pay, $20 limit. I admit that was the one station I observed, I’ve not loafed enough and too busy paying attention to the road. What say yuns?

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