Pipeline Fire Brings Evacuations

Friday, September 26, 2014 @ 04:09 PM gHale


A ruptured natural gas pipeline south of Elwood, IN, caught fire and forced an evacuation Tuesday morning.

There were no injuries and the fire is now out after all the gas escaped the line, officials said.

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The pipeline was in a rural area, but still, two nearby farms ended up evacuated. The rupture occurred when a vehicle ran over a roadside valve.

A motorist was southbound on 900 West around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday when he swerved to avoid a raccoon in the road, and struck the gas line on the east shoulder of the road, said Madison County Sheriff Ron Richardson.

The car was about 40 feet from the ruptured line when the line ignited, sending a pressurized flame approximately 50 feet into the air.

The driver did not suffer an injury and ended up driven home from the scene.

Richardson said Vectren and Panhandle Eastern closed off the line at valves in Elwood and Noblesville, and let the remaining gas in the line burn away.

The fire burned out shortly before 4 a.m.

“As long as it’s burning, we’re good,” Richardson said.

Now crews worry about the residual gas built up in the line. They have shut down 900 West between 900 North and S.R. 128 as a precaution. They are now preparing for cleanup.



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