Gas Line Explosion Injures Two

Friday, November 14th 2008, 5:05 pm
By: News On 6

Grady County Fire

ALEX, Okla. -- A gas line explosion this morning near Alex has injured at least two people.

Three homes were destroyed when the gas line exploded at about 3 a.m., said Capt. Robert Jolley with the Grady County Sheriff's office.

Two people were injured in the blast. One was in critical condition and was taken by helicopter to an Oklahoma City hospital. The second person was transported to Grady County Hospital with minor injuries, Jolley said.

Find hidden pipelinesAnother person who was unaccounted for has been located and was not injured, deputies said.

By 8 a.m., most of the fire was extinguished.

The explosion left a large crater and scattered debris for about 100 yards.

Highway 19 between Chickasha and Lindsey was closed because of the fire. The road reopened at 9:30 a.m.

Barbara Beasley lives about 10 miles away in Lindsey and heard the explosion at about 3 a.m. She said she saw a bright yellow glow in the sky.

"When we arrived we saw the lady and her son from the house on the south side of the road," Beasley wrote in an e-mail to NEWS 9. "Asked if they were alright and she said that it was like a bolt of lightning had hit. They ran and got away, but they were alright."

Click here to see a slideshow of Beasley's and other viewer submitted photos.

The pipeline was operated by the OG&E subsidiary Enogex. Spokesman Brian Alford said the line was last inspected in 2007.

The 20-inch national gas gather lines transports raw natural gas 80 miles from Thomas to a processing center in Cox City.

"Our prayers are with the injured and affected residents and their families, and with those whose property was destroyed in this accident," Keith Mitchell, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Enogex, said in a statement. "We are using all available resources to respond to this accident."

Officials did not know how quickly the line would be repaired. Crews worked Friday morning to secure the scene and the damaged pipe so that it can be further evaluated for a possible cause.