The paper discusses a methodology to define safety implications of and damages that have resulted from gas transmission pipeline failures where fire and/or explosions have occurred. The records of the National Transportation Safety Board were examined to determine the area that was burned and/or impacted by a resulting explosion. The impacted area was then correlated with the physical parameters of the pipeline to see if a relationship existed. The parameters considered included the pipe diameter, the operating pressure at the point of release, the volume of material released, the maximum radius burned by the fire, the height of the flame and the maximum distance effected by the resulting explosion (if one occurred). Two strong correlations were found between the operating pressure in the pipe and the area burned in the incident for the two cases, with and without an explosion taking place. These results may be used to define a safe separation distance for a natural gas transmission pipeline.

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