A Chevron Corp.-operated West Texas Liquefied Petroleum Gas System pipeline located near Milford, TX, exploded Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. CST, forcing the company to initiate emergency response procedures as the rural town was evacuated.
"A crew was performing excavation activities at the site when a rupture in the line was reported," Chevron said Thursday afternoon. "Five workers at the site were immediately evacuated. All employees are accounted for and there are no reported injuries."
Located in Ellis County, Milford is approximately 50 miles south of Dallas with a population of around 700 people. Local news broadcast video showed large flames in a farm field, with the fire also consuming a rig and several vehicles.
Chevron said it has initiated its emergency response procedures and is working with the appropriate local, state agencies and emergency response organizations to assess the current situation and respond to the incident.
"The flow of product in the pipeline has been shut-off and residual burn continues," Chevron said. "There is an adjacent Chevron owned 14-inch LPG pipeline that the company is currently monitoring. Chevron and emergency response organizations are actively monitoring the incident and taking every precaution to contain and ultimately extinguish the fire.
Local officials said the fire could continue burning through Friday morning.
In an interview with KTVT-TV in Dallas, Tom Hemrick, director of Hill County Emergency Management, said Chevron's 14-inch pipeline runs just feet away from the 10-inch punctured pipeline and that it was still flowing because stopping it would increase the risk of that line exploding as well. "It is still flowing because the flow cools the line," he told the television station.