McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Breaking News

August 20, 2013

No injuries reported in natural gas pipeline explosion near Kiowa

McALESTER — Emergency responders worked together to extinguish a grass fire Tuesday that ignited after an underground natural gas pipeline ruptured near Kiowa.

No injuries were reported.

Kiowa Police Chief Tony Runyon said he received an emergency call around 11:08 a.m. Tuesday and reached the scene within two minutes after local residents reported hearing an explosion and seeing flames shooting into the air.

A 16-inch gas line owned and operated by Enogex ruptured underground, Runyon said.

When he arrived, the police chief said he saw flames shooting approximately 100 feet in the air. Witnesses also noted the roar of the gas escaping from the rupture in the line.

“It’s in a remote area,” Runyon said of the site, about two miles south of Kiowa and approximately a half-mile north of the Tenaska power plant.

Runyon said no fould play was expected.

Workers were able to shut off the gas supply to the line. Runyon said that fortunately, a gas line maintenance crew had been working in the area and was able to respond quickly.

“They shut down valves on each side of the blowout,” he said.

However, by that time, some grass in the area had caught fire. Local firefighters from the Kiowa and Pittsburg fire departments fought the blaze and were eventually able to contain it.

Runyon said it looked like the property owner lost approximately two dozen round bales of hay in the fire.

Enogex is a subsidiary of OGE, also known as OG&E, or Oklahoma Gas and Electric. Together with its subsidiaries, Enogex provides natural gas gathering, processing, transportation and storage in the major natural gas producing areas of Oklahoma and in portions of the Texas panhandle, according to the company’s Web site.

Meanwhile, Runyon said all of the emergency responders worked well together in responding to the situation.

“Everything went smoothly,” he said.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

 

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