Pipeline Explosion Rocks South Texas Homes

A natural gas pipeline explosion lit up the night sky and rocked homes near the South Texas city of Refugio early Wednesday morning.

Jennette Montano told NBC News she heard "a big boom" that woke her up from her Lamar, Texas home at about 1:30 a.m. At first, she thought it might have been a meteor.

"My sister in law called me and said did you hear that?" Montano, 52 said. "I went outside and looked. It was glowing, orange or yellow."

NBC affiliate KRIS-TV reported flames were visible from several miles away.

Officials said there were no injuries and the fire was extinguished. There are no refineries or plants nearby.

Refugio County Sheriff Raul "Pinky" Gonzales said there's not expected to be any environmental damage from the rupture because the gas burned off as it spewed from the pipe.

"They shut the valves and bled out the line," he said.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Nathan Bradley said it's too early to know what triggered the explosion.

The line is owned by Kinder Morgan, which said in a statement they are trying to determine the impact the rupture will have on customers as well as what caused the incident.

Mishaps with transmission lines are not uncommon. In the past two decades, the U.S. government has recorded more than 2,000 accidents on gas transmission lines across the country.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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