Moreland, KY – A ruptured gas line caused a massive explosion in the early hours of Thursday, killing a 58-year old woman, and injuring 5 others.
Don Gilliam, the county’s emergency management director, said flames reached 300 feet in the air and could be seen throughout Lincoln County.
According to the Lincoln Courier, the smoke could be seen in Louisville, 70 miles to the north, and the tar on a local highway melted.
The blast destroyed railroad tracks and forced the evacuation of 75 people from the nearby Indian Camp mobile home park.
Emergency managers said the rupture involved the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline, which is owned and operated by Enbridge. The pipeline stretches more than 9,000 miles from the Mexican border in Texas to New York City.
Officials from the Lexington branch of the Red Cross set up a relief center at the church about 7 a.m.
A statement from the company based in Calgary, Canada, said, “Enbridge is aware of and is responding to a rupture on the Texas Eastern system in Lincoln County.”
Enbridge Pipelines move 25% of North American crude oil and about 18% of all gas consumed in the US.
Firefighters were still working to douse the flames hours later, with trucks repeatedly refilling their tanks and returning to the scene.
Federal officials will investigate the blast. The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted Thursday afternoon that it is sending three investigators.