Safety Valve Releases Gas Plume At Texas Power Plant

Monday, April 23rd 2007, 10:04 am
By: News On 6

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ A pillar of fire more than 100 feet high erupted early Monday at an electric power plant after a safety valve opened on a natural gas line and a spark ignited it, authorities said. No one was injured.

Texas Department of Transportation cameras on nearby Interstate 820 showed the flare at the Exelon Corp. Handley plant, which disrupted traffic after it started at about 7:10 a.m.

The flare happened when a relief valve tripped on a 24-inch natural gas transmission line that feeds the gas-fired plant, said Lt. Kent Worley, a Fort Worth fire spokesman.

The safety valve worked as intended, Worley said, but a spark ignited the gas plume, and state and local officials will now investigate where the spark came from.

There were no injuries and a worker was able to shut off the valve after about 20 minutes, killing the flare, Worley said.

An Exelon spokeswoman didn't return a call Monday.