Ex-worker says problems with TransCanada pipeline ignored

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) _ A former TransCanada engineer says the company knew that its Bison natural gas pipeline in Wyoming had faults before it ruptured last
year.

Evan Vokes told the Casper Star-Tribune that the Calgary-based company ignored the problems because it was in a rush to open it.

The newspaper reported Friday that Vokes was terminated in May for undisclosed reasons.

Company spokesman Grady Semmens said several tests done before the July 20, 2011 failure didn't show any problems. He said one of the tests may have further damaged the pipeline.

The rupture shook the ground and spewed a brown cloud into the sky 20 miles northwest of Gillette but the gas didn't ignite.

The pipeline runs across southeastern Montana into North Dakota and began operating in January 2011.

The rupture is still under investigation.

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