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One dead, five injured in Kentucky pipeline blast

05 August 2019

A natural gas pipeline belonging to Enbridge has exploded in Kentucky and killed one person. The blast occurred in the early hours of August 1, destroying railroad tracks and several homes in a nearby mobile home park where five people were hospitalised.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

The incident happened in Moreland, around 40 miles (65 km) south of Lexington. It is the second time this year that an incident has occurred on Enbridge’s Texas Eastern natural gas pipeline after two people were injured by an explosion in Ohio on January 21. 

The Texas Eastern pipeline measures 30 inches (76 cm) in diameter and runs from the Mexican border in Texas up to New York City. Flames from the blast were reported to have risen 300 feet (100 metres) into the air, Reuters reports. Homes were destroyed and others up to 500 yards away from the blast were damaged. 

Canadian-based Enbridge has since shut the pipeline down while it works with state and federal officials to investigate the exact cause of the explosion. It is not yet known when the pipeline will be repaired and reopened. 

As well as causing a backup of natural gas in the pipeline, the explosion caused damage to nearby rail tracks, leaving 31 trains backed up overnight. 75 people were evacuated from the impacted trailer park nearby where the casualties occurred. 

The US National Transportation Safety Board has taken over control of the site and is conducting an investigation into the reasons behind the explosion.

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