(Adds company confirmation of damaged pipeline and that it has
By Erwin Seba
HOUSTON Nov 14 A Chevron Corp pipeline
exploded near a tiny Texas town south of Dallas on Thursday,
shooting flames high in the air and prompting evacuations from
nearby homes and a school district, but no injuries were
reported, the company and emergency officials said
The explosion south of Milford, Texas, was caused by a
construction crew that accidentally drilled into a 10-inch
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) line, Tom Hemrick, director of
Hill County Emergency Management, told KTVT-TV in Dallas. He
said all workers were accounted for
"The fire is definitely getting smaller," Hemrick said of
the conflagration in an open field near Milford, a town of 700
people some 50 miles south of Dallas.
Another 14-inch LPG line runs a few feet from the one that
blew up and product was still flowing because stopping it would
increase the risk of a secondary explosion, he said.
"It is still flowing because the flow cools the line," he
By mid-afternoon Chevron confirmed Hemrick's version of
events, identifying the line as a Chevron-operated West Texas
LPG system near Milford. Calling the explosion an "incident,"
the company said an excavation crew was working at the site when
a rupture on the line was reported.
Five workers were evacuated, and no one was hurt, Chevron
"The flow of product in the pipeline has been shut off and
residual burn continues," the company said. Chevron was
monitoring the adjacent LPG line.
A state regulator said the line was part of the West Texas
LPG Pipeline Limited Partnership, a 2,295-mile common-carrier
pipeline system that transports natural gas liquids from New
Mexico and Texas to Mont Belvieu, Texas, for processing.
Chevron owns 80 percent of the pipeline system and Atlas
Pipeline Partners has a 20 percent stake.
Milford's volunteer fire chief, Mark Jackson, told Dallas'
WFAA-TV that about 200 students in the town's school district
were evacuated, and officials closed off numerous roads around
A local CBS-TV affiliate broadcast footage of big flames
rising from a field and engulfing what appeared to be a drilling
rig or other large piece of equipment. Several nearby pickup
trucks were burned.
(Reporting by Edward McAllister, Jeanine Prezioso, Robert
Gibbons and Sabina Zawadzki in New York and Anna Driver, Kristen
Hays, Erwin Seba and Eileen O'Grady in Houston; Editing by Terry
Wade and Bob Burgdorfer)