Alabama pipeline blast sparks worries about South gas prices
A fatal explosion has shut down a pipeline supplying gasoline to millions of people across the Southeast — the second accident and shutdown in two months — raising the specter of another round of gas shortages and price increases.
It happened when a dirt-moving track hoe struck the pipeline, ignited gasoline and sparked a blast Monday, killing one worker and injuring five others, Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline said. Flames and thick black smoke continued to soar on Tuesday, and firefighters built an earthen berm to contain the burning fuel.
Four of the injured remained hospitalized, Colonial spokesman Bill Barry said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference in nearby Helena, Alabama. Another worker was treated at the scene, Barry said.
The explosion happened not far from where the Colonial pipeline sprung a leak and spilled 252,000 to 336,000 gallons of gasoline in September.