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Video: Alabama Gas Pipeline Explosion

"Ground-level activity now the leading cause of pipeline spills and accidents."

November 01, 2016

For the second time in two months, the Colonial Pipeline that carries gasoline to the East Coast has been shut down due to fire. The fire was near Helena in Shelby County, Alabama, where a gas spill occurred in mid-September this year.

The fire broke out Monday afternoon, killing one worker and severely injuring 10 others. According to AL.com, subcontractors were flushing out the lines at the time when an excavator hit the pipe, causing the gasoline to ignite.

The blaze was in a heavily wooded area that has been experiencing a prolonged drought. Coleen Vansant, a spokeswoman with the Alabama Forestry Commission, said crews were attempting to build a 75-foot-long earthen dam to contain burning fuel, which will be allowed to burn itself out.

Quoted in AL.com, Brigham McCown, former administrator of the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said last month, "Typically we don't see external damage to a pipeline from ground-level activity, whether it's human or weather-related, except for some third party striking the pipeline with a piece of excavation equipment. That's now the leading cause of pipeline spills and accidents."

The shutdown will likely cause gas prices to rise in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic markets, according to AAA. The video below is courtesy of SkyBama.com.

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