1 dead, 5 seriously burned after Colonial Pipeline gas explosion

Smoke rising from the scene of a gasoline line explosion in Shelby County, Alabama (WIAT)

SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Colonial Pipeline says one crew member died on the scene after a gasoline line exploded Monday off Highway 13. Colonial says five victims were transported to local hospitals for treatment for injuries.

WRBL sister station CBS42 reports four crew members were life-flighted to the University of Alabama at Birmingham trauma center for burn treatment after the explosion. According to Colonial, the contracted crew was using a trackhoe when it hit the line, igniting the gasoline.

Colonial released a statement, which reads in part: “Our deepest condolences go out tonight to the family and friends of the person who was lost today, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured.”

Both Colonial pipelines in the area remain shut down. The fire at the main site continues to burn until the fuel runs out. Officials don’t have an estimate of when that might be, but tell us the fire is too hot and dangerous to fight. It is contained by a seven to eight foot dirt dam.

Helena police clarified the explosion was in the Shelby County Jurisdiction, and that no Helena residents are in danger.

In response to the resulting wildfire, Governor Robert Bentley says, “We will put enough resources in place to take care of this and protect the people in that area.”


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