Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
Given the high level of drilling going on in the US for shale gas I expect that alot of rather inexperienced people are taking part in drilling activities in the US. Less experience means higher chances for accidents to occur. Or in the case of BP, it is being too cheap to enforce generally standard safety proticalssp(sp)
This particular Pipeline is a 36" Transportation line, it has nothing to do with drilling in shale.
Quote about blast in Texas(Authorities found the missing worker's body several hours after the explosion, once searchers could safely walk through the entire charred area. Authorities had hoped the missing man had left the scene on his own, like some of his colleagues who drove themselves to hospitals.

Brian Fine, Hood County's emergency management coordinator, said the worker's body was found some distance from the blast site. The man's name was not immediately released.

The worker had been riding a truck drilling holes for utility poles when the line suddenly exploded, and other workers lost sight of him in the intense smoke, said Roger Harmon, Johnson County's top elected official.)

As you can see from the above, work was ongoing with respect to digging / drilling holes for utility poles.
Now regarding this type of work, every Pipeline should be comprehensively marked on a map, these Utility or contract workers should have had access to that map and the operators of the Pipeline should have had one of their personel standing by to ensure that the holes being drilled were not going to impact the Pipeline.
It is mormal that work is forbidden within a certain distance from a pipeline so as to forestall any possible incident.