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ETP Pipeline Ruptures, Catches Fire in South Texas

An Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) LP natural gas pipeline in South Texas ruptured and caught fire late Sunday, prompting the evacuation of seven homes about 86 miles southeast of San Antonio.

The failure occurred on a 42-inch section of the company’s Rich Eagle Ford Mainline (REM), said ETP spokeswoman Vicki Anderson Granado. The 230-mile, 600 MMcf/d REM gathers natural gas from the Eagle Ford Shale for delivery to ETP’s Jackson County processing plant, which is east of DeWitt County where the pipeline ruptured.

A spokesperson for the DeWitt County Emergency Operations Center said the rupture occurred at about 8 p.m. CDT Sunday near Lindenau, TX. Natural gas was rerouted, according to the center, and the fire was brought under control by midnight. No injuries were reported. 

Granado said production in the area hadn’t been affected by the rupture, but added that the Jackson County processing plant had been shut-in as a result. She said natural gas was being moved to other plants in the region.

According to local news media reports, those living within a mile of the pipeline reported a loud noise and intense heat when it ruptured. Evacuees will be allowed to return to their homes after the company conducts safety inspections, the emergency operations center said.

It's unclear what caused the blast, but inclement weather moved through the region on Sunday and continued into Monday. Granado said an investigation into the cause of the accident is underway. 

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