A regional gas pipeline ruptured early Thursday in Moreland, Kentucky, causing a massive explosion that killed one person and injured five others, officials said.
Lisa Derringer, 58, of Stanford, died in the blast, according to the Lincoln County coroner.
The flames reached 300 feet in the air and could be seen throughout Lincoln County, said Don Gilliam, the county’s emergency management director. The smoke could be seen in Louisville, 70 miles to the north. The fire was so intense, the tar on a local highway melted.
Emergency managers said the rupture involved the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline, which is owned and operated by Enbridge.
The pipeline stretches more than 9,000 miles from the Mexican border in Texas to New York City. A statement from the company based in Calgary, Canada, said “Enbridge is aware of and is responding to a rupture on the Texas Eastern system in Lincoln County.”
Jim McGuffy, a spokesman for Enbridge, said his company had not started its investigation into causes as of noon Thursday.
The pipelines in the area had a sufficient amount of covering on them, which protects from heat, McGuffy said.
The 30-inch wide pipeline moves natural gas under high pressure, authorities said. Firefighters were still working to douse the flames hours later, with trucks repeatedly refilling their tanks and returning to the scene.