Nichole Hannahs

Gas Line Rupture Update

by Nichole Hannahs on November 17, 2011 at 9:57 am

The earth shook in Morgan County and as far away as Muskingum County, Wednesday morning after a gas line exploded.

"She just said she thought God was coming for her."

That was the description Tommy  Sayers mother gave him after a 36-inch Houston based Tennessee Natural Gas Pipeline ruptured around 8:30am Wednesday morning. The ensuing flames charred the surrounding hillside and destroyed two homes on Taylor Road in Glouster.

"I guess it hasn’t set in yet," said Sayers. "It looks like some movie scene back there."

His mother was able to grab the family pets and a few pictures before the roof started to sag and fall. The explosion was felt 12 miles away and many heard the road of the fire. Charles Richmond lives two miles away in Amesville.

"My house shook. My windows shook. I thought a jet airplane was landing on my house. It was extremely loud," explained Richmond.

Richmond said he’s used to hearing the sound of gas lines being bled by companies, but when it went on for ten minutes he knew something was wrong.

"I saw a fireball that was 500 feet in the air. It was a humongous fireball. I have never seen a fireball that big."

The pipeline said they were able to isolate the rupture and a team shut the gas off. Richmond said it was a lot of excitement for a small area.

"It’s boring here. That’s why I live here. Nothing happens."

For Sayers he’s thankful his parents are okay.

"I feel lucky they are alive to be honest with you."

Officials from the Public Utilities Commission said they are unsure of what caused the pipeline to rupture and are continuing their investigation. A press conference is scheduled for later Wednesday night.

The incident is being investigated by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Fire Marshall’s Office.  Public Information Officer Shane Cartmill says there is no indicaiton of a criminal act.  Carmill adds that the transmission line is secure and there is no danger to the public.