An Abilene, TX natural gas liquids pipeline owned by ExxonMobilCorp. remained shut down Friday night after an explosion killed apolice detective who was first on the scene of the accident, sent awoman to the hospital and forced the evacuation of nearbyresidents.

Texas Department of Public Safety officials said that the12-inch propane pipeline, which carries 1,200 bbl/d of propane,butane and ethane between Baden and Beaumont, TX, ruptured and thencaught fire after a bulldozer hit it Thursday afternoon.

Abilene Police Detective Jay Hatcher, 42, a criminalinvestigator for the Abilene Police Department, died Friday atUniversity Medical Center in Lubbock, TX. Also, a woman living nearthe point of the blast was injured in her home and taken to thehospital with minor injuries. Eight families also were relocateduntil the threat of another fire or explosion was over. The driverof the bulldozer escaped uninjured.

Exxon said Friday that the pipeline was still burning, but thatthe fire had been contained and would burn itself out. The companyhad no estimate of when the pipeline would restart, but said itwould remain closed pending the results of the investigation.

Carolyn Davis, Houston

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