Pipeline Blast Under Investigation

Monday, December 2, 2013 @ 04:12 PM gHale

Officials are still trying to determine the cause of a Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company gas line explosion south of Houstonia, MO, early Friday morning.

Emergency response crews shut down a perimeter around the burning pipeline, which still had visible flames more than eight hours after it exploded. In addition, seven buildings in the area were burning, including barns, hay bales and possibly a home.

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The pipeline is on private pig farm, according to Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond.

Vicki Granado, spokesperson for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company, said the fire was out by 3 a.m. Friday.

Granado said a 30-inch natural gas pipeline ruptured north of Hughesville, MO, around 11:55 p.m. Thursday.

Police officials said there were no injuries reported by Friday morning, but the company said officials evacuated several families within a 3-mile radius as a precautionary measure. Those families have since returned home.

Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company rerouted gas through the area and the company said there will be no impact to deliveries.

The cause of the rupture remains under investigation.

To note the power of the blast, residents living 20-30 miles away said they felt the explosion, while people living up to 50 miles away said they could see the explosion.

In 2008, a Panhandle Eastern pipeline ruptured near Houstonia. According to that investigation, corrosion was the cause of that rupture.

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