Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 14, 2013

Drilling rig hits Ellis County gas line

Corsicana — About 750 people were evacuated from the town of Milford in southern Ellis County because of a gas line explosion around 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The explosion was the result of a drilling rig hitting a 10-inch gas pipeline. The line belongs to Chevron, and it was a Chevron crew of drillers that struck the line. Company spokesman Justin Higgs said the accident involved a liquefied petroleum gas pipeline.

No one was hurt, according to Chevron officials.

Dallas area television stations sent helicopters to the scene to file their reports. Flames could be seen shooting into the air and some vehicles at the worksite burned from the news video feeds. A column of billowing black smoke could be seen from miles away.

The town, along with about 230 students at the Milford school district, were evacuated in case of further ignitions, according to James Saulter, a public information officer for Ellis County.

“Our biggest concern is other pipelines around,” he said at a press conference around 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Waxahachie.

Milford is located about 10 minutes south of Italy, and about the same distance north of Mertens.

Chevron told the county it would take about 24 hours for the pressurized gas in the line to burn out.

Smoke and flame from the explosion site were visible for miles throughout the region.

Several highways leading to the affected area were blocked to keep traffic out of the area.

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