Clues About Cause of Santa Barbara Pipeline Rupture

In this May 28, 2015 photo from the County of Santa Barbara, investigators measure and photograph the about 8-inches-long break where a pipeline ruptured, spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean on May 19, polluting beaches and killing hundreds of birds and marine mammals north of Goleta, Calif. The pictures released to The Associated Press on Monday, June 15, 2015 under a California Public Records Act request show the 8-inch tear that spilled up to 101,000 gallons of oil. Civil engineer Robert Bea says the amount of corrosion visible and the documented wear inside the pipe lead him to believe the pipe burst during a pressure spike when the operator restarted pumps that had failed earlier in the day.(Bruce Reitherman/County of Santa Barbara via AP)
Santa Barbara

An engineer says photos of the pipeline that spilled oil on the Santa Barbara coast show extensive corrosion and provide clues about the rupture’s cause.

The pictures released show the 8-inch tear that spilled up to 101,000 gallons of oil May 19, polluting beaches, and killing hundreds of birds and marine mammals.

Civil engineer Robert Bea says the amount of corrosion visible and the documented wear inside the pipe lead him to believe the pipe burst during a pressure spike when the operator restarted pumps that had failed earlier in the day.

Plains All American Pipeline has declined to discuss the cause of the spill while it’s being investigated by federal regulators and local, state and U.S. prosecutors.

This May photo from the county of Santa Barbara shows workers placing a damaged section of pipe in a tractor-trailer for delivery to an analytical facility in ohio after it ruptured, spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific ocean on May 19.

This May photo from the county of Santa Barbara shows workers placing a damaged section of pipe in a tractor-trailer for delivery to an analytical facility in Ohio after it ruptured, spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific ocean on May 19.