A 24-inch diameter natural gas pipeline operated by Williams Partners Ltd. in Marshall County, WV, ruptured early Friday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of homes and businesses in the Reid Ridge area, said Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Cecil.

No injuries were reported and all residents were allowed to return to their homes within a couple of hours, Cecil told NGI. The pipeline rupture occurred in a rural area in the northwestern part of the state, where “four or five farms are located.”

According to Williams spokesman Tom Droege, personnel at about 12:20 p.m. EDT Friday detected a “possible line rupture” on Fish Ridge Road in Reid Ridge and “immediately shut down the affected pipeline and isolated the rupture to the suspected area.” The rupture vented gas with no ignition or fire, he said.

The pipeline is part of a gas gathering system that serves Williams’ gas processing facility in Fort Beeler, WV.

“The rupture temporarily affects service in a seven-mile section of the system, which typically carries 100-120 MMcf/d,” Droege said. “Williams officials are onsite and beginning the process of determining why the pipe failed,” and the company has reported the failure to state regulators. Repairs are to begin this week.

Crews from Williams and the area fire department inspected the area of the rupture, which was “loud and long,” said Cecil. “We got about two dozen phone calls on it, which is a lot for a rural area.” The automatic pipeline shut-off system, he said, appeared to work “down the line,” preventing further problems.

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