Explosion rocks Pettis County gas pipeline

Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co. line explodes overnight; several families evacuated

RAW: Viewer video shows pipeline explosion burn

HUGHESVILLE, Mo. - The Pettis County Sheriff's Office confirms a Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company gas line exploded south of Houstonia early Friday morning.

Emergency response crews shut down a perimeter around the burning pipeline, which still had visible flames more than eight hours after it exploded. An ABC 17 News crew reported seven buildings in the area were burning, including barns, hay bales and possibly a home.

The pipeline is located on private pig farm, according to Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond.

Vicki Granado, spokesperson for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company, told ABC 17 News early Friday morning the fire had been extinguished by 3 a.m.

Granado said a 30-inch natural gas pipeline ruptured north of Hughesville around 11:55 p.m. Thursday.

No injuries had been reported Friday morning, but the company said several families were evacuated within a 3-mile radius as a precautionary measure. Those families have since been allowed to return.

Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company rerouted gas through the area and the company says there will be no impact to deliveries.

The cause of the rupture remains under investigation.

Numerous viewers have called, e-mailed or posted to Facebook, reporting a bright orange glow northwest of Sedalia. Some viewers living 20-30 miles away said they felt the explosion, while people living up to 50 miles away say they could see the explosion.

In 2008, a Panhandle Eastern pipeline ruptured near Houstonia. According to the investigation, the rupture was caused by corrosion. That rupture happened near Mile Post 21.6.

Granado told ABC 17 News the 2008 rupture was on a different line, but in the same area.

Stay with ABC 17 News and for the latest updates on this developing story.

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