A segment of the 36-inch diameter Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) owned and operated by El Paso Corp., exploded and caused a fire at about 10:30 p.m. EST Thursday near Dungannon, OH, a spokesman told NGI Friday.

In a bulletin board posting TGP declared a force majeure event for Station 214 in Carrolton, OH. The pipeline notice said it anticipated limiting intraday flow increases for Friday's gas day and restricting 100% secondary out of path nominations and lower-priority services going forward, with a possibility of restricting a pro-rata portion of secondary in path nominations.

"At this time the certainty of such restrictions [is] unknown due to the current investigation of the incident," the posting stated.

Spokesman Robert Newberry told NGI Friday morning that at that time there had been no impact to customers. He added that an investigation is under way.

The pipeline was last inspected in 2005 and no problems were found.

"We won't know the cause of the incident until the investigation is complete, which could take months," Newberry said. "We cannot speculate at this time when repairs will be made."

Following the explosion, "TGP immediately activated its emergency response plan," said Newberry. "The line was isolated and the fire extinguished...As a precaution, fire officials evacuated nearby residences. They have been allowed to return to their homes.

"No injuries were reported," he said. "One nearby structure suffered minor damage."

A police dispatcher for the Columbiana County, OH, Sheriff's Office also told NGI Friday that there were no reports of injuries. Although no mandatory evacuations were ordered, a shelter was in place at a school and at the fire department in Salineville, OH.

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