Gas explosion rocks rural East Ohio area
HANOVERTON, Ohio (AP) – A gas pipeline explosion shook residents in eastern Ohio a day after a house explosion in neighboring Pennsylvania took the lives of five residents and destroyed several homes in Allentown.
A dispatcher for the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio said officials had no reports of injury from the nighttime explosion Thursday and fire near Hanoverton. She said there was no mandatory evacuation but those in the village of about 400 people and surrounding towns who wanted to leave their homes could find shelter at a school and the Salineville Fire Department.
The explosion occurred about 10:30 p.m. A television station initially reported one house caught fire but Robert Newberry, a spokesman for El Paso Corp., which operates Tennessee Gas Pipeline, said there were no structural fires. One house was damaged, however, the company said. Newberry said only one nearby resident was evacuated.
Company spokesman Richard Wheatley said the explosion involved a 36-inch, buried transmission line that carries natural gas through the region. Mechanisms in the section that ”failed” automatically shut off the segment and the residual gas burned off, he said.
Wheatley did not immediately respond to a message Friday seeking information about the age and condition of the pipeline.
In 2007, El Paso Corp. agreed to a $15.5 million fine as part of a settlement with the government involving an explosion in 2000 near Carlsbad, N.M., that killed 12 people camping near a 50-year-old pipeline. The settlement included a commitment from El Paso to spend $86 million to modify its 10,000-mile pipeline system.