Gas Pipeline Explosion Engulfs Land and Homes, Stopping Gas Flow to U.S. Eastern Region

A natural gas explosion at a pipeline complex near Greensburg, PA, on April 29, 2016.
Photographer: Salem Township Supervisor Kerry Jobe via AP Photo

A natural gas pipeline exploded into a vast fire on Friday in Salem Township, PA, engulfing land and property within several hundred yards of the explosion with flames so intense that the heat burned a man running from the scene.

Officials temporarily shut off the gas running through the Texas Eastern pipeline as they investigate the fire eruption. Built in 1981, the affected pipeline showed no sign of concern when inspected in 2012, according to Spectra Energy Corp who owns the pipeline that has been transporting nearly 1.3 billion cubic feet of gas daily from the Gulf to the New England region.

Spectra responded in a statement that its concern was first and foremost for the safety of the community and its employees. While the cause of explosion is unclear, officials continue to investigate any possible impact on surrounding environmental areas.

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