Texas Town Evacuated After Gas Pipeline Blast
Photo Credit: AFP
(AFP) - A Texas town was evacuated Thursday after a gas pipeline operated by Chevron exploded, but there were no reports of injuries.
"At 9:30 this morning I had a report of an explosion on a Chevron pipeline," said Jo Ann Livingston, a spokeswoman for the Ellis county sheriff's office.
"Chevron requested that the town of Milford be evacuated and it was."
Around 200 school children were among those evacuated, Livingston told AFP. They were taken to a nearby high school.
"I’m not aware of any injuries to people in town," Livingston said.
Local media reported that the natural gas transmission line blew when it was hit by an onsite construction crew.
Workers were able to escape the drilling rig without injury before it was engulfed in flames, WFAA reported.
Images posted on the station's website showed huge plumes of smoke and massive flames rising up from the blast site in an otherwise empty field.
"Chevron has initiated its emergency response procedures and is currently responding to the incident," the oil and gas giant said in a statement. "Chevron's primary concern at this point is to ensure the safety of its employees and the surrounding community."
Milford has a population of 700 and is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Dallas.