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Energy Transfer pipeline explodes in Pennsylvania

Staff Writer |
A pipeline exploded in Beaver County, Pennsylvania at approximately 5 a.m. Monday morning, causing a large fire and prompting the evacuation of dozens of homes in the area.

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The 24-inch natural gas line, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and its subsidiary Sunoco, was buried three feet deep and activated only a week ago on Sept. 3.

The valves to the pipeline were shut off and the fire extinguished itself by 7 a.m., the company said in a statement via WPXI's Mike Holden

"All of the appropriate regulatory notifications have been made. An initial site assessment reveals evidence of a landslide in the vicinity of the pipeline. The line has been safely isolated and depressurized until a thorough investigation can be completed." Sunoco spokeswoman Lisa Dillinger said Monday in a statement to the Daily Local.

No injuries were reported, but one home, two garages and several vehicles were destroyed by fires, according to the Associated Press. Interstate 376 was closed and the Central Valley school district also canceled classes.

"I saw the ball of flames above the trees and it was easily 150 to 200 feet up in the air. It was serious," resident Chuck Belczyk told KDKA.

An investigation into the incident is now underway. A landslide that happened near the pipeline could be a possible trigger. Nearly 5 inches of rain fell between Friday night and Monday morning, Trib Live noted, citing National Weather Service data.


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