An underground pipeline accidently struck by a contractor exploded Wednesday afternoon at a natural gas liquids facility about 32 miles northeast of Houston, the Mont Belvieu Fire Department reported via Facebook.
All facility workers escaped to safety with no injuries reported.
Energy Transfer, the parent company of Lone Star NGL, attributed the explosion to a contractor doing a directional bore who hit a pipeline segment owned by another company.
A detailed report on the explosion at Lone Star NGL facility has been posted by MBFD.
“At 4:47 p.m., Mont Belvieu 9-1-1 began receiving calls regarding an explosion at the Lone Star NGL facility on W. Winfree west of SH 146,” the report states. “The Mont Belvieu Fire Department responded with Engines 1 and 2, Ladder 1, District 1, and multiple ambulance and command assets.”
The Mont Belvieu Poice Department and Chambers County Sheriff's Department provided traffic control and public safety support around the incident site.
“Upon arrival, the crew from Engine 1 observed a large fire emanating from an unknown source; an 18-wheeler was also nearby facing east on W. Winfree and was partially involved,” the report states.
Crews from Engine 1 and Ladder 1 established a water supply and began cooling the 18-wheeler with a ground monitor to try and avoid a secondary explosion. MBFD, joined by assets from multiple industrial emergency response teams, worked for hours to keep the blaze contained to the immediate area.
“During the operation, crews were able to ascertain that the driver of the truck, which happened to be passing by at the time of the explosion, did escape the vehicle unharmed,” the report states.
Industry operators were able to block in the affected pipeline segment which stopped the fuel feeding the fire. Baytown Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit provided air monitoring during the operation to ensure there was no threat to crews or the public.
“Mont Belvieu Fire Department assets demobilized at approximately 8:50 p.m. and were replaced by industrial ERT units that continued the cooling and containment operations throughout the night,” the report states.
The fire burned itself out at approximately 4 a.m.
The parent company of Lone Star NGL, Energy Transfer, has reported that the cause of the explosion was due to a contractor doing a directional bore hitting a pipeline segment owned by another company.
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