Santa Fe, Texas Ripped by Natural Gas Line Explosion, Fire
Early reports say several CenterPoint Energy contractor workers injured
Several members of a work crew were reported to have been injured by what appears to have been a natural gas pipeline explosion and fire in Santa Fe, Texas. Initial images from the scene indicate that the explosion and fire involved a relatively low-pressure residential / light industrial gas line and that damage to adjacent structures is minor. Santa Fe is a city of about 12,000 permanent residents located in western Galveston County.
According to a statement released by CenterPoint Energy, the explosion occurred at around 6:00 p.m. at a location near the intersection of Avenue M and 24th Street in Santa Fe and apparently occurred when a work crew from Dayton Lease & Pipeline Services breached a natural gas line during routine maintenance and inspection operations. CenterPoint Energy stated it was their understanding that five crewmen employed by Dayton had suffered burn-type injuries and had been transported to the University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital in Galveston but that the workers’ conditions were unknown at that time. The online edition of the Houston Chronicle later reported that at least one worker had suffered critical burns and had been admitted to the medical Branch Hospital’s Burn Unit.
Residents near the site of the explosion stated that they heard and felt the explosion at about 6 o’clock and that they observed a burning gas jet that extended from street level to about 10 feet above the site where the gas line was being excavated. Later news coverage showed local fire department personnel directing water streams onto a building near the explosion site but the structure itself seemed to have escaped major damage.
Dayton Lease & Pipeline Services is based in nearby Liberty County and provides a variety of contract services to the energy production and exploration sector of the local economy. CenterPoint Energy is based in Houston and is a Fortune 500 electric and natural gas utility serving several markets in the central United States.
We will be following this accident during the overnight hours and will post updates as they become available.
Santa Fe police Lt. Greg Boody later told KHOU-TV in Houston that two Dayton Pipeline employees had been airlifted from the accident site to the Medical Branch Hospital and that it was his understanding that both men were in critical condition.