No cause found in gas pipeline rupture
Winchester Fire Department Major Greg Beam, left, talks with Clark County Deputy Sheriff Johnny Graves and Allen Taylor, right, at a road block on Irvine Road a few miles from a natural gas pipeline rupture. Beam, who lives in Camargo, said the windows in his home shook when the line ruptured. (James Mannfirstname.lastname@example.org / September 21, 2011)
Richard Wheatley, manager of media relations for El Paso Corp., Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s parent company, said the company received reports from residents in the area around midnight, and personnel responded quickly to the scene.
Wheatley said there was no fire from the rupture, no reports of injuries, no reports of damage and no customer impact.
The rupture occurred in southeastern Clark County near Howard Creek and Midway roads.
Wheatley said it took about an hour for personnel to isolate the section of the pipeline where they believe the rupture occurred and stop the gas flow.
The company activated its emergency response plan and made required notifications to federal and state agencies.
At press time, Wheatley said the cause for the rupture had not been determined, and he was not sure how long the line has been in the ground.
Clark County Deputy Sheriff Johnny Graves said deputies and Clark County firefighters responded shortly after the rupture was reported.
“Sometime after midnight, dispatch started getting bombarded with calls about a loud boom,” he said.
Deputies closed a couple miles of Irvine Road around the scene while Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials worked to shut off the gas flow. Graves said the road was reopened to traffic within an hour.
Though some residents chose to leave for safety, there was no forced evacuation of the area, he said.
Graves did not see where the rupture occurred, but said the lines run through remote and inaccessible areas.
“(The break) was in a rural area,” Graves said, though there were a few homes nearby. “You could hear the sound miles away and the odor was enormous.”
Gary Epperson, Clark County Emergency Management director, said the rupture was heard in at least Montgomery, Powell and Clark counties. He reminded people to be cautious and report any sounds that may sound like a rupture.