AL Pipeline Restarts 6 Days after Blast

Monday, November 7, 2016 @ 03:11 PM gHale

Six days after a fatal blast shut it down, the Colonial Pipeline restarted Line 1 of the pipeline Sunday morning.

A trackhoe operated by a veteran and highly trained contract crew from eastern Alabama struck the pipeline Monday afternoon, causing a massive explosion that killed one person and injured several others in Helena, Alabama, company officials said.

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Line 1 of the pipeline feeds the majority of the gas supply for the Southeast.

The explosion happened while those contractors worked on final repairs to a section of the pipeline that ruptured in September, causing widespread gasoline outages across the Southeast.

The Alpharetta-based company posted an update on its website Sunday morning saying Line 1 has been safely restarted and returned to service.

“All product was removed from the affected segment of pipe yesterday evening. Excavation operations commenced shortly thereafter and continue this morning. Once excavation is complete, the affected segment of pipe will be removed and a new segment will be tested and installed. Based upon the latest information, we continue to project a Sunday afternoon restart of Line 1,” the company said.

Colonial Pipeline transports more than 100 million gallons of products daily to markets between Houston and New York City, serving more than 50 million people, according to its website.

They include petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel.

Authorities have not said what type of fuel was a part of the Monday explosion.

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