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Two pipeline workers were injured in a construction accident on Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2 pipeline about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh late Sunday.

The workers, one male and one female, were pulling a piece of equipment through a section of the pipeline under a road when the equipment struck and injured them, said Lenore Uddyback-Fortson, a spokesperson for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in an email. OSHA is investigating.

The equipment, called a pig, is used to clean out the insides of pipelines.

The female worker was treated and released and the male has a broken arm and remains hospitalized but in stable condition, Uddyback-Fortson said.

The map shows the Mariner East 2 pipeline’s path across 17 Pennsylvania counties on its way to the Marcus Hook industrial complex in Delaware County, where the natural gas liquids it carries will be shipped overseas to make plastics. The map was built using state Department of Environmental Protection shapefiles of the route for which DEP issued permits. The line extends west into Ohio. Credit: Scott Blanchard

The accident occurred at 11:16 p.m. Sunday night, near the intersection of Main Street and Gombach Road, according to Westmoreland County 911.

The workers were employed by Precision Pipeline, an Eau Claire, Wisc.-based pipeline contractor. Company officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Penn Township manager Alex Graziani said the accident occurred along the route of the Mariner East 2, which is being built through the middle of the township.

The 20-inch pipeline will carry natural gas liquids from Western Pennsylvania to a port facility near Philadelphia.

In an email from Energy Transfer, Sunoco’s parent company, the company said work stopped temporarily at the site “to ensure the safety of these individuals and all others on site, but has now resumed.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection suspended construction on the Mariner East for 30 days last year because of repeated permit violations, including dozens of drilling mud spills, and fined its developer$12.6 million.

The company says the pipeline is expected to begin carrying gas by the end of the year.


This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among The Allegheny Front, WPSU, WITF and WHYY to cover the commonwealth's energy economy.


Photo (top): Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania