Early morning pipeline explosion rocks homes in Carthage area - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

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Early morning pipeline explosion rocks homes in Carthage area

Reports indicate the explosion in the Carthage area of Panola County, Texas just before 6:00 a.m. (Courtesy: Amanda Thames) Reports indicate the explosion in the Carthage area of Panola County, Texas just before 6:00 a.m. (Courtesy: Amanda Thames)
Sent in by a KSLA News 12 viewer outside of Carthage, wanting to know what caused they explosion they say they could "see and feel." Sent in by a KSLA News 12 viewer outside of Carthage, wanting to know what caused they explosion they say they could "see and feel."
Flames from a pipeline explosion in Gary, Texas could be seen well above the treetops Wednesday morning (Unknown sender, submitted via See It, Snap It, Send It! Send your photos to sendit@ksla.com) Flames from a pipeline explosion in Gary, Texas could be seen well above the treetops Wednesday morning (Unknown sender, submitted via See It, Snap It, Send It! Send your photos to sendit@ksla.com)

CARTHAGE, TX (KSLA) - The Panola County Sheriff's Office confirms it was some type of pipeline explosion that shook homes south of Carthage, Texas just before 6:00 a.m. Wednesday.

A 12" natural gas transmission line ruptured and exploded. The fire singed nearby trees and knocked out nearby power lines. The pipeline was capped before 8:00 a.m., cutting off the fuel to the fire, which could be seen and felt from a distance.

The line belongs to MarkWest Energy, a midstream natural gas operation based out of Carthage. A spokesperson says the cause of the rupture on the site near Farm to Market 999 and Co Rd 420 is under investigation.

Reports of the explosion and fire in Gary south of Carthage began coming into the KSLA News 12 newsroom just after 6:00 a.m.

"We live outside of Carthage, and can see and feel this Explosion.. Any Word on what it could be," asked the first, along with a picture (right) of a smokey, glowing horizon over darkened treetops.

Another picture came in moments later from Amanda Thames, simply saying, "Explosion happened just before 6am."

"Huge gas well fire near So. Panola Co & Shelby Co. Emergency are trying to find it. It shook houses in a majority of this area," read one tip from Cynthia Kaye McKnight.

There were no injuries reported.

Bert Dillmann, vice president of MarkWest Energy Partners released the following statement on the incident:

At approximately 6:00 a.m. CDT today, a fire was detected on a MarkWest pipeline about one-quarter of a mile from the Gary Compressor Station in Panola County, Texas. There were no injuries or structural damage to the compressor station equipment. The pipeline and compressor station were immediately shut-down and MarkWest's emergency response plan was implemented. MarkWest's personnel were immediately dispatched to the location. The fire, which was limited to brush surrounding the pipeline, was quickly extinguished by the Gary Volunteer Fire Department who left the site by 8:00 a.m. CDT. MarkWest is investigating this incident and will work with local and state authorities throughout this process. MarkWest would also like to thank the first responders for their quick and professional response.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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