Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Residents of Milford, Texas were forced to stay away from home overnight, setting up in shelters at a nearby high school after a natural gas pipeline exploded Thursday morning.
The Chevron-owned pipeline exploded after a five-person construction crew accidentally hit the line while doing excavation work, but no one was injured or killed in the blast.
Jim Barnum, Chevron's area manager, said Milford officials did the right thing in evacuating people within a mile and a half -- including the entire town of about 700 people -- while the flames burned themselves out. Barnum said that, although the pressure line had been shut off, the fire could still blaze for about 36 hours..
“The liquid that remains in there -- it’s often called boiling off -- it’s going from a liquid to a vapor stage," he said. "It’s going to whatever this leak or hole is and it’s coming out as a gas, because it’s at atmospheric conditions and there’s a fire there which is consuming the product.”
Although the American Red Cross set up a shelter at the high school in nearby Italy, only seven people registered to stay there. Most people, they said, were staying with friends and family in the area.