Natural gas line explosion rocks rural Louisiana


A natural gas transmission line exploded in a rural Louisiana community about 70 miles north of New Orleans, knocking out power and causing area residents to be evacuated, local authorities said.

A large mushroom cloud and fire erupted from the line following the explosion at around 5:00 a.m., said Lauren Ritchie, a spokesman for the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office.

The line, owned by Florida Gas Transmission, carries natural gas from Texas along the Gulf Coast through Louisiana and into Florida.

It appears no one was injured or killed in the blast. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said 55 people were evacuated from a one-mile area, and Ms. Ritchie said the explosion knocked out power to the small rural community of Plainview.

One mobile home was destroyed in the fire, but the woman who lives there were able to escape, Ms. Ritchie said.

The explosion comes on the heels of fatal explosions at two different chemical plants outside of Baton Rouge last week.

It's not yet clear what caused the explosion outside of Franklinton the Governor's office said the gas fire is extinguished but nearby trees are still burning. Ms. Ritchie said state and federal responders are waiting for the area to become safe before going in to investigate.

Vicki Granado, a spokeswoman for Florida Gas, said the affected section of the 5,500 mile line has been shut in, and natural gas is being rerouted. The incident won't have any impact on the company's deliveries, she said.

The Florida Gas Transmission pipeline is a joint venture between Kinder Morganand Energy Transfer Partners.

Dow Jones Newswires

From the Archive