CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The national agency investigating a massive explosion last December in Sissonville won't have its final report ready on time thanks to the partial federal government shutdown.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced the delayed release Tuesday.
"The final report on the December 11, 2012, natural gas pipeline rupture and explosion has been delayed," NTSB officials wrote in a press release.
"The Board Members will consider the draft report before the end of the calendar year, but it will not be deliberated on December 3 at the previously scheduled Board Meeting."
The explosion sent a torrent of fire into the air and across a hillside along a stretch of Interstate 77 near Sissonville. Homes were leveled and several road signs were charred, but no serious injuries were reported in the midday blast and ensuing fire.
Days after the explosion, an NTSB official told reporters the Columbia Gas Transmission line was too thin. In some places, the 20-inch diameter line was less than 0.1 inches thick.
The NTSB included this information in an initial report. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., organized a January special meeting in Charleston of the Senate Commerce Committee to discuss the issue. Rockefeller chairs the committee. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, also attended the meeting.
In June, the NTSB released hundreds of documents connected to its investigation into the explosion. The potential cause and other conclusions about the explosion are expected in the final report, though.
In late September Republicans in the GOP-controlled House refused to support a measure to fund the government unless it also stripped money from the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare."
President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate said that was a non-starter. With no funding bill, the federal government greatly reduced services and sent hundreds of thousands of employees home starting Oct. 1.
The shutdown ended Oct. 16, but 383 of the total 405 NTSB employees were furloughed during that time, according to the press release. Many federal and state agencies have announced the funding hiatus will affect their services moving forward.
Investigations into a May train wreck in Connecticut, a July plane crash-landing in San Francisco and others were also delayed by the shutdown, according to the release.