Massive explosion in Lincoln County; at least 1 person dead, 5 injured

Massive explosion in Lincoln County; at least 1 person dead, 5 injured

Massive explosion in Lincoln County; at least 1 person dead, 5 injured

The Lincoln County Coroner's Office confirms at least one person is dead following a massive explosion near Junction City early Thursday morning.

County emergency management chief Don Gilliam said the flames reached about 300 feet in the air. "They're either destroyed, or they're still standing".

Purdy said the impacted area is large, and that the siding of a home approximately 400 or 500 yards from the initial explosion had melted off.

Tim Adams, who lives around one mile away from where the blast took place, told WHAS11 it felt like the "entire world shook" when the blast occurred, adding. there is a "definite gassy smell" near his home. "That's how deafening it was".

One evacuee told WKYT, "It woke us up and it was just a big roar and fire going all the way up in the sky as far as you could see". Our windows were shaking really bad and you could see the ground just moving and rumbling and rolling.

"We're trying to get a head count", Folger said, adding that about five homes had caught fire and that firefighters were working to extinguish those blazes.

The pipeline is part of Enbridge's Texas Eastern system, the company said.

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Emergency managers say the pipeline is the Texas Eastern Transmission, which is owned and operated by Enbridge.

Energy traders said the pipe shutdown would be disruptive to affected customers and would likely boost the gas costs, at least temporarily, but noted those consumers should have no problem switching to other fuel suppliers in the Gulf Coast or Northeast until Enbridge restores service.

In January, the pipe experienced an explosion in OH that caused producers in Appalachia to reduce output by about 1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) for about a week. It also damaged train tracks that run through the area, officials said, and Norfolk Southern had dozens of railcars backed up awaiting a workaround or fix. Purdy said the track should reopen later in the day. Several structures were on fire in the Indian camp trailer park. Gilliam encouraged anyone who fled the scene and hasn't been accounted for to check in at the church.

Authorities are urging the public to stay away from the scene.

Purdy said several agencies are investigating to determine what caused the explosion.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending three investigators to the site.

This story has been corrected to say the pipeline is several thousand miles long, instead of more than 9,000 miles long.

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