A small Texas town had to be evacuated as a precaution after a natural gas pipeline ruptured on the morning of Nov. 14 in Ellis County, Reuters reported.
The pipeline, operated by Chevron Corp., was accidentally drilled by a construction crew near the town of Milford, about 50 miles south of Dallas. An explosion ensued and a massive fire erupted, causing emergency crews to evacuate the 700 residents of the town and keep them out of the town borders for 24 hours. The gas flow in the pipeline was immediately cut off and the fire was contained within a couple of hours. Residents were allowed to return to their homes the next day.
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There were no serious injuries caused by the explosion and all workers that were in the vicinity of the pipeline at the time of the blast were accounted for, according to the article.
According to Tom Hemrick, director of Hill County Emergency Management, there is another pipeline running very close to the one that exploded but it was kept operating because the flow cools it down. If the adjacent pipeline had been closed, this would have increased the risk of a second blast, he told reporters.
Chevron had acted according to its emergency response plan and is cooperating with local and state agencies to monitor the situation and take all precautionary measures.