Kentucky Gas Pipeline Massive Explosion. 1 Dead, At Least 5 Hospitalized, Officials Say
August, 1 – USA. Junction City, Kentucky.
A regional gas pipeline burst out early Thursday in Kentucky, causing a massive explosion. One person is killed, five others are hospitalized. The Explosion destroyed railroad tracks, forcing 31 trains to back up overnight, and forced the evacuation of dozens of people from a nearby mobile home park, authorities said.
Several structures caught fire in the area of the Indian Camp Trailer Park and were put out. Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Don Gilliam confirmed Thursday morning that everyone in the area was accounted for and three people who were taken to a hospital had been released.
Lincoln County Director of Emergency Management Don Gilliam said officials received reports early Thursday at around 1:20 a.m. of a possible fire near the Indian Camp trailer park, just a quarter of a mile west of U.S. Highway 27. Initial presumption was that it was an accident, that caused the massive blast - a crash of a train or a plane. But once on the scene, officials quickly discovered a 30-inch pipeline belonging to the Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline was the cause of the explosion.
The 30-inch-wide pipeline moves natural gas under high pressure. According to the authorities, the rupture at about 1 a.m. caused a tremendous amount of damage in the immediate area. Hours later, firefighters doused the flames, after trucks repeatedly refilled their tanks and returned to the scene.
The explosion was so huge it showed up on radar, according to WKYT meteorologist Chris Bailey:
The fire is seen in several counties, including in the Lexington metropolitan area, according to the WKYT viewers.
One evacuee told:
"It woke us up and it was just a big roar and fire going all the way up in the sky as far as you could see. Our windows were shaking really bad and you could see the ground just moving and tumbling and rolling. Then we got to feeling the heat from this fire, so we got in our vehicle to get away from it."
Another told the station, "It was like an atomic bomb went off, basically."
Emergency managers said the rupture involved the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline, which is owned and operated by Enbridge. The pipeline stretches more than 9,000 miles, from the Mexican border in Texas to New York City.
Here is a radar loop of this morning. @DeitraT circled the area and you can see large green pop up. That is the pipeline explosion. We have crews on the scene and will continue to share updates. https://t.co/dExzAteZMm pic.twitter.com/HoJFyepIic— Spectrum News 1 Kentucky (@SpectrumNews1KY) August 1, 2019
A statement from the company based in Calgary, Canada, said "Enbridge is aware of and is responding to a rupture on the Texas Eastern system in Lincoln County."
And here are some terrible footages of the explosion's aftermath posted by the Twitter users.
Heartbreaking images coming out after a gas explosion killed a woman, destroyed homes, and hurt several others.https://t.co/DzxukU32dx— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) August 1, 2019
Kentucky State Police say all people unaccounted for have been found. No other fatalities besides the one woman and 5 injured, some with 3rd degree burns.