Saw this fire from campus. Drove out to it. 20mi away gas pipe explosion. It was HUGE. pic.twitter.com/hNuNBK30qU— Michael Clinkscales (@Mike_Clink34) February 13, 2014
An early-morning gas pipeline explosion in Adair County, Kentucky reportedly left a 60-foot crater in the ground and completely destroyed two homes and multiple vehicles. Astonishingly, only two people suffered minor injuries in the 1 a.m. blast, which was visible from at least 20 miles away.
Columbia Gulf Transmission said in a statement that it hasn't yet determined the cause of the blast on their pipeline, which is connected into basically every other major pipeline system in the U.S. Gas from the Columbia system flows to the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast, meaning that the timing of last night's blast is pretty bad: with a winter storm already making things rough on the East Coast, the lost fuel flow could exacerbate already rising natural gas prices, Reuters explained. Although Columbia contained the damaged pipeline section and shut off the flow of gas soon after the explosion, the ensuing fires burned for hours on the gas left after the initial blast.
Kentucky Emergency Management director Greg Thomas told NBC that the explosion sent "huge rocks" into the air, some of which were found blocking roads 150 feet from the blast site. Thomas added to the Courier-Journal, "There is now a crater 60 feet deep and it blew rocks out, and I don’t mean pebbles ... big rocks." Crews are just not getting a sense of the extent of the damage, as it was still dark when emergency crews arrived on the scene.