Freak mishap, not vandals, ruptured oil pipeline

State petroleum company officials have ruled out criminality in the leak of a major pipeline Monday night.

The rupture happened in Pacuarito de Siquirres. A portion of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. distribution line runs above ground. The state company said that there was an electrical problem in a high-tension line and a cable broke. An end of the cable fell and smashed into the pipeline. The pipe was carrying diesel from the Limón petroleum terminal at the time.

Such mishaps can be explosive, but there was no fire Monday night. The company said a clamp fixed the problem, and that workers from the  Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad were fixing the electrical cables.

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