Flames roared from a ruptured pipeline outside the Citgo refinery in Corpus Christi for nearly 90 minutes Monday, prompting police to issue an immediate shelter-in-place order for the nearby community.
The pipeline serves a refinery operated by Marathon Petroleum, which referred to the event at an "operational incident," according to a statement.
"A pipeline that provides natural gas to the MPLX Javelina gas processing facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, experienced an operational incident that resulted in a fire," according to the statement released to local media. "MPLX isolated the affected segment of pipeline using shutoff valves, and local emergency responders extinguished the fire."
Marathon has made the necessary regulatory notifications.
Police used an emergency notification system to contact all telephones within the affected area with news of the shelter-in-place order. However, police chief Robert Rocha told local media that no evacuation was ordered owing to favorable wind direction at the time of the fire.
The blast, which occurred at 8:38 a.m., closed Interstate 37 for most of the morning. American Electric Power reported a simultaneous power outage that affected more than 700 customers in the area.
Refinery Terminal Fire Company, a non-profit organization that provides emergency fire response for local industry, and the Corpus Christi Fire Department arrived at the scene and battled the blaze using firefighting foam.
Shortly before the initial fire died out, a second blaze broke out in a small building, destroying it and half a dozen pickup trucks parked nearby.
Citgo issued a statement making it clear that the pipeline was outside its property and did not belong to the company.
No injuries were reported during the emergency.
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