Federal officials have taken over the investigation of an ammonia leak at a South Carolina chemical warehouse that killed a passing motorist.
National Transportation Safety Board investigator Crystal Thomas said last week it could take months to figure out what caused a 4 to 6-inch rupture in a hose used to move the chemical from a tanker to a storage tank at a Tanner Industries distribution facility 25 miles south of Columbia.
Thomas says the hose is supposed to be visually inspected each time it is used and physically inspected annually. She says the company has promised to share its inspection records.
Authorities say the ammonia quickly evaporated into a cloud that moved across U.S. 321 near Swansea. A woman was killed when she drove through the cloud.
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