Energy Transfer natural gas pipeline explodes near Houston

HOUSTON, July 7 (Reuters) - An Energy Transfer (ET.N) natural gas transmission pipeline exploded on Thursday, setting off a two-hour fire in a rural area on the west edge of Houston, according to state and local officials.

The blaze was extinguished at about 12:10 p.m. CDT (1715 GMT), according to the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and natural gas drilling and energy pipelines in the state. No injuries were reported from the explosion and fire.

Local firefighters sprayed water on nearby fields until the flow of natural gas was stopped, snuffing the fire.

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"Our control center immediately shut in the line and the area was secured," Energy Transfer said in an emailed statement.

Victoria Cann, spokesperson for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said Energy Transfer reported a release of natural gas from the 24-inch (61 cm) pipeline started at about 10:25 a.m. local time.

Andrew Keese, Railroad Commission spokesperson, said the agency is conducting an investigation of the explosion and fire.

Energy Transfer also said it is investigating the cause.

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Reporting by Erwin Seba and Arathy Somasekhar in Houston; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Chris Reese

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