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Sedalia Explosion: Natural Gas Pipeline Fire Rocks Missouri Town (VIDEO)


A 30-inch natural gas pipeline ruptured and exploded in Houstonia, Mo., causing several nearby buildings to catch fire late Thursday night, Reuters reported.

The pipeline, owned by Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co., exploded at around 1 a.m. and set fire to nearby buildings.

"We just saw this huge 300-foot wide ball of flames roaring," Houstonia resident Kathy Schnieder told KMOV-TV. "We heard things pinging against the house. We don't know if we were going to have a home to come back to."

Schneider lives a few hundred yards from the explosion site.

The cause of the blast was a fissure in the gas line. The fireball that resulted could be seen from 30 miles away, Mail Online reported.

The explosion "luckily occurred in a field and no one was hurt," a spokesman for the Sedalia Fire Department told Mail Online. He added that he could see the fire from his home 15 miles away.

The release of natural gas from the began at approximately 11:55 p.m. just north of the rural community of Hughesville, Missouri, forcing the evacuation of some area families as a precaution, the spokeswoman for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co. told Reuters.

No injuries or fatalities reported and no impact to customers shipping gas on the line, the spokeswoman said, but nearby structures were damages by fire.

The Sedalia explosion also caused the evacuation of a few homes around the area for precaution. An investigation is underway to see what caused the rupture in the natural gas pipeline.

The cause of the explosion was under investigation. Gas supplies have been rerouted to avoid delivery disruptions to customers.

Panhandle Eastern operates a 6,500-miles natural gas pipeline system that supplies East Coast and Midwest markets with up to 2.8 billion cubic feet of gas per day, according to the company's website.

According to their website, the company supplies some of the largest industrial users and power plants in the Midwest with natural gas.

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