Alva Review-Courier -

The Latest: Company: Cause of pipeline rupture unknown


December 7, 2017

LOVING, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a pipeline explosion and fire (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

A Houston-based energy company says it's investigating what caused one of its natural gas pipelines to rupture, explode and catch fire in southeastern New Mexico's oil patch.

Spokesman Rick Rainey of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. says the incident early Wednesday morning in a sparsely populated rural area south of Carlsbad involved a line that transfers gas from wells to a treatment facility.

Eddy County Emergency Manager Jennifer Armendariz says there are no reported injuries but that one storage building burned before authorities shut down the pipeline to extinguish the fire.

Armendariz says authorities first had to identify what company's pipeline was involved.

The incident caused the closure of two nearby highways. U.S. 285 was reopened to traffic late Wednesday morning while State Route 31 remained closed.

6:40 a.m.

A pipeline exploded in southeastern New Mexico's oil patch, closing two highways but causing no reported injuries.

Eddy County Emergency Manager Jennifer Armendariz says the pipeline that exploded early Wednesday morning is in a sparsely populated area about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Carlsbad believed to be used for natural gas.

Armendariz says four energy companies have operations in the area and that authorities are working to identify the pipeline involved so it can be shut down.

The explosion occurred near the junction of U.S. 285 and State Route 31 and closed both highways.

County officials initially advised nearby residents to evacuate but later advised those in a 2-mile (3-kilometer) radius of the junction to shelter in place while authorities work to stabilize the situation.


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