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Residents in Arkansas alarmed by a pipeline explosion, which also affects nearby businesses



Jessieville, Arkansas – Garland County’s Jessieville residents and businesses are currently dealing with the fallout from a pipeline explosion that happened on Wednesday afternoon and sent flames up to 300 feet into the air.

Colby Noles, a Jessieville native, lives a short distance from the explosion site with his family.

Noles claimed to have heard the first “pop” while inside the house.

“It kind of shook the house, but you know, it was storming yesterday so I just thought it was thunder,” he said.

Shortly after the first explosion, Noles said there was another “big boom that shook the house really hard.”

[My mom] and I came out and jumped in the jeep,” he said. “It was so hot. It felt like you had a sunburn on your back. I didn’t know if it was going to blow up again, [and] wipe the house out with us in it.”

Noles claimed that their house’s siding melted due to the explosion’s extreme heat.

The Jessieville Volunteer Fire Department’s fire chief, Gene Blackwell, reported that their department along with neighboring departments from Hot Springs Village, Fountain Lake, Piney, and Buckville arrived to assist in clearing the area around the explosion site and dousing some nearby homes in water to prevent them from catching fire.

“That pipeline has been there my whole life and that’s the first time we have ever had anything like that in our area,” he said. “It was kind of intimidating at first, but it came out to be a good situation because no one got hurt and there was no loss of property other than the valve station.”

Although Blackwell pointed out that some companies in the neighborhood are still without gas, he claimed there shouldn’t be any long-term impacts from the blast.

Regarding the outage, Summit Utilities issued the following statement:

“The recent rupture of the Enable Gas Transmission pipeline has had an impact to the gas supply in the Garland County area that resulted in a temporary interruption of our service to about 100 customers. Our crews are actively working to find a solution to restore full service as soon as possible and begin relighting for affected customers. Once we are able to turn gas back on, someone from Summit’s team will need to relight a pilot light inside your home. Someone over the age of 18 must be present for our team to enter your home. We ask all customers to contact our customer experience team at 800-992-7552 for any further questions.”

The pipeline’s owner, Energy Transfer, reported that the fire was safely put out around 7:45 a.m. on Thursday. They said, among other things:

“An active investigation into the incident is underway, so we will continue to secure the area to protect the integrity of the site during this process. There were no injuries, and our main priority remains the safety of our neighbors, our personnel, and the protection of the environment.”



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