Shelby County, Alabama – A gas pipeline operated by the Colonial Pipeline Company exploded Oct. 31st, killing at least one person, and injuring several others. The explosion happened five miles from a Colonial pipeline leak that occurred in September, spilling around 336,000 gallons of gas. This explosion follows reports from last week of a pipeline leak in Pennsylvania that spilled around 55,000 gallons of gas into the Susquehanna River, which also happens to be one of the most endangered rivers in the United States. Aside from preventing the desecration of sacred land, this is the type of catastrophe those who are opposing the Dakota pipeline have been trying to prevent.
The explosion ignited additional fires in the area, which is currently experiencing a severe drought, and residents have been forced to evacuate without indication of when they can return. More than 30 acres have been scorched, according to Alabama Forestry Commission spokeswoman, Coleen Vansant, who remarked that the fire will not be out anytime soon. Alabama governor, Robert Bentley, has declared a State of Emergency for Alabama that is expected to last until December 1st, unless terminated sooner.
In an interview with WBRC, Bentley stated:
“It appears to have been an accident, and they’re allowing fuel to burn. It’s about one mile west of where the repair took place on the Colonial Pipeline just recently.”
The explosion has shut down a vital pipeline that supplies gasoline to millions of people across the Southeast (nearly 40-percent of the regions gasoline), and now concerns are being raised of a gas shortage and price increase. AAA spokesman, Mark Jenkins, states the severity of the gasoline shortage will depend on how long the pipeline remains closed, and they’ve ask citizens not to panic and start filling reserve gas cans.
Altogether, Colonial Pipeline – which is based in Alpharetta, Georgia – operates nearly 6,000 miles worth of pipeline that transports not only gasoline, but home heating oil, and freakin’ jet fuel, among “other hazardous liquids,” according to reports (sourced above).
Provided below is a report from AL.com:
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