No injuries from fire when a gas pipeline ruptured in Platte County

Posted: 6:55 PM, Nov 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-30 19:51:45-05
Crews fighting large pipeline explosion in KC
Crews fighting large pipeline explosion in KC

Fire crews responded to a large pipeline explosion in Platte County Tuesday evening. 

Flames were visible from I-29 and Northwest 112th Street. The line was carrying liquid propane and was buried under a field. It's owned by Louisiana-based Enterprise Products Partners.

There are no reports of injuries.

Thousands of people are believed to have spotted the massive flames. Many who saw it described the blaze that lit up the sky.

"It was the biggest fire I'd ever seen," said Kevin Everett. 

Despite the size of the fire, nearby residents said they didn't feel anything when the pipeline exploded.

"You know you kind of worry about the integrity of the pipeline and where it goes through but you've got to trust that the people that built it built it safely," said Twila Everett.

It's unknown what caused the pipeline to rupture. Officials say it's a 10-inch pipe carrying liquid propane.

The fire burned itself out in two hours. The pipeline company turned off the pressure to avoid any flare-ups.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. released the following statement on Wednesday:

"Once the residual product is out of the line, company personnel can begin the process of
evaluating and repairing the pipeline. Field crews continue to work with local authorities to
keep the area secure and the company has notified the appropriate regulatory agencies. The cause of the incident is under investigation."

More about the pipeline

According to Enterprise Products Partners LP, which operates the pipeline, the line is underground and built mostly in rural areas. The pipeline originates in Conway, Kansas and extends to parts of Iowa and Illinois.

41 Action News confirmed parts of the pipeline do run through towns, such as Kearney where there is a propane terminal. 

“Obviously when you have an incident like this it creates some concerns about pipelines. When you consider the large amounts of products that are transported on these pipelines every day, they’re the safest way to transport energy products. Without pipelines, more trucks and more trains would be traveling through cities,” said Rick Rainey, vice president of public relations for Enterprise.

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According to Rainey, pipelines cannot legally go under buildings or businesses. However, it is “not uncommon” for development to go up around it at a later date. If that happens, Rainey said the pipeline has to be restructured with added safe guards.

Because Enterprise is responsible for the integrity of the pipeline, Rainey said the company flies the line every two weeks and has workers who walk the line everyday. In addition, the company tests the pipeline internally to gather data such as wall thickness, how round the pipe is and if there is corrosion.



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