Evacuations lifted in fatal Rusk Co. pipeline explosion - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Evacuations lifted in fatal Rusk Co. pipeline explosion

Farm to Market 1798 is closed from County Road 366 to County Road 3122 for a "pipeline incident". Farm to Market 1798 is closed from County Road 366 to County Road 3122 for a "pipeline incident".
Officials say pipeline has been shut down. (Source: KLTV news staff) Officials say pipeline has been shut down. (Source: KLTV news staff)
RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Rusk County emergency officials have lifted evacuation orders for resident after one man was killed in a natural gas pipeline explosion southeast of Henderson. Tuesday afternoon, firefighters responded to the explosion on Farm to Market 1798 East near the intersection of County Road 3122.

Rusk County Office of Emergency Management Officer David Chenault said the line was broken by a tractor on a mowing crew. A person was using a tractor about 200 feet off of FM 1798 when the tractor struck a natural gas line, causing the rupture. The victim of the explosion has been identified as Connor Wilson. A family friend says Wilson is from White Oak and worked for Thunderhorse Oilfield Services. He says Wilson is married with four children. 

A representative from the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management told KLTV that they were made aware that a 12-inch pipeline exploded when they received a 911 call at approximately 5:15 on Tuesday evening.  Gas was leaking from the pipeline, but as of 6:35 p.m., OEM officials confirmed the pipeline, which is owned by Enbridge, was shut off.

Residences in a one-mile radius around the ruptured area were evacuated, although residents were allowed to return to their home by 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

Eastside and Churchill volunteer fire departments responded along with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and the Rusk Co. Sheriff's Department. 

The scene is about 12 miles southeast of Henderson. FM 1798 is closed from FM 840 to FM 2867; drivers should seek alternate routes.

A viewer told KLTV that they heard an explosion from their home in Carthage, about 17 miles away. 

According to the Texas Railroad Commission, the majority of the pipelines in the area carry natural gas. 

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.
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