Pipeline explodes in South Texas

REFUGIO — A natural gas pipeline has exploded in South Texas, in a fiery display that lit up the sky and could be seen for miles.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Nathan Brandley says the explosion occurred early Wednesday near Refugio (ray-FYOO’-ee-oh), a rural community north of Corpus Christi, about 15 miles from the Texas Coast.

Brandley says no one was hurt and that there are no refineries or plants nearby.

He says it’s too early to know what triggered the explosion.

In a prepared statement Kinder Morgan spokeswoman Melissa Ruiz said the fire and natural gas release were discovered at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“The company shut down the impacted pipeline segment, dispatched personnel to the site, and regulatory agencies have been notified. The fire has been extinguished, and there are no injuries,” Ruiz added.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway, the company said.

Mishaps with transmission lines are not uncommon. In the past two decades, the U.S. government has recorded more than 2,000 accidents on gas transmission lines across the country.