A natural gas pipeline explosion in Refugio, Texas last week caused a blast that could be felt by residents as far as 60 miles away. The explosion, which occurred in the early morning hours of Wednesday February 15, happened on ranch property in a rural area near U.S. Highway 77 and state Highway 239. The ruptured pipeline is owned and operated by Kinder Morgan Inc., an energy company based in Texas that controls a massive network of pipelines for natural gas and refined petroleum products.
According to authorities from Refugio County, local residents reported the blast from as far as 60 miles from the ranch property. Nearby homeowners also reported that the loud blast vibrated their homes. In addition to the initial explosion, officials reported that a massive fire erupted, with flames extending beyond 200 feet in height. Residents from Corpus Christi and communities in Waller County, over 150 miles away from the site, also reported seeing the flames.
Following the blast and fire, Kinder Morgan ceased operations in the area and shut off the ruptured pipeline. Officials from the Texas Railroad Commission, which is responsible for regulating oil and gas operations in the state, are conducting an investigation into the underlying cause of the explosion.
While it is fortunate officials are stating there have yet to be any reported injuries, the explosion serves as yet another reminder of the tremendous dangers refineries, plants, and pipelines can pose to our communities. Because the oil and gas industry poses risks to the general public, the companies that own and operate facilities and pipelines must comply with extensive regulations. Although the cause of last week’s incident is still currently unknown, it has often been the case in the past that explosions are caused by failures to abide by regulations, as well as the negligence of operators.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our team of Corpus Christi personal injury lawyers focus a large part of their practice on protecting the rights of victims who suffer injuries and losses as a result of plant and refinery explosions. We also represent local residents who suffer damages as a result of exposure to harmful and toxic substances. By ensuring these victims have a strong voice when they go up against massive energy companies who fail to play by the rules and cause preventable harm, we not only help pursue the compensation they deserve, but also make it clear that oil and gas operators make sure their facilities are as safe as possible.
If you have questions about your rights following an explosion, fire, or other incident involving oil and gas or toxic substances, The Daspit Law Firm is available to help. Contact us for a free consultation.
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