The naturalgas pipeline system ruptured early April 29 at a point in Pennsylvania about 30miles from Pittsburgh.
On itswebsite, Texas Eastern parent SpectraEnergy Corp said it was responding to an incident in Salem Townshipin Westmoreland County, Pa. "Our first concern is for the safety of the community,our employees and any others who may be affected," the company said. "Wehave activated our emergency response plan. We are cooperating with authoritiesin our response."
The incidentoccurred at 8:13 a.m., according to Spectra Energy. There was a fire that has beenextinguished, and authorities established a one-quarter mile evacuation radius fromthe site.
The PennsylvaniaDepartment of Environmental Protection said all four pipelines in the right of waywere depressurized, but residual gas is expected to burn for several hours. Departmentstaff is on the site.
SpectraEnergy declared a force majeure. It alerted shippers that "Texas Eastern haslimited operational flexibility to manage imbalances," and gas deliveries onthe system would have to stick to scheduled amounts.
Multiplenews reports said the explosion severely burned one person and destroyed a home.
The SierraClub pointed out another accident on the Texas Eastern system in Edison, N.J., in1994, which it said injured 10 people. "We urge state and federal agenciesto conduct a thorough investigation and hold Spectra accountable for today's disaster,and bar it from reopening this pipeline until a full review is conducted,"the group said.