Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pipeline Explodes in Rural Oklahoma Underscoring the Dangers of Fossil Fuel Pipelines

A pipeline in rural Oklahoma (Harper County) ruptured at 11 p.m. on Tuesday October 8, causing an explosion with flames that went hundreds of yards in the air. The flames from the blast were visible up to 70 miles away. The cause of the explosion is still being investigated and there are no known reports of deaths or injuries.

Highway 283, which extends across the county and north from there to Dodge City was temporarily closed south of the Kansas-Oklahoma line. Several families had to be evacuated from the area as Northern Natural Gas rushed to the scene to cut off the gas flow. These families have since been allowed to return to their homes following the extinction of the fire. The environmental impacts are not known at this time and there is still no estimate as to when repairs to the pipeline will be completed.

Although this incident was not as destructive as it could have been if it had occurred in a more populated area, it nonetheless underscores the dangers associated with fossil fuel pipelines. Ruptures and explosions are yet another reason why many are concerned about the dangers associated with the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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