HELENA, Ala. -- Colonial Pipeline company says repairs will likely last into the weekend on the gasoline pipeline that supplies fuel to metro Atlanta. An explosion and fire shut down the pipeline Monday – the second time it’s happened in the last six weeks.
Colonial officials asked motorists to show a measure of patience as price hikes and possible fuel shortages arise over the next few days.
The pipeline fire is still in a controlled burn. After it’s out, restoring the now ruptured pipe will be job one, company officials say. Meantime, they say fuel-hungry Atlantans will still be able to get gasoline between now and whenever the pipeline is restored.
"We’re not the only providers," said Bill Berry, spokesman for Colonial. He said other gasoline deliveries will be able to mitigate the potential of shortages.
Colonial has two pipelines in the area – the second one carries kerosene, jet fuel and heating oil. If Colonial can’t restore pipeline number one by the weekend, officials say they have the option of delivering fuel in the second pipeline.
Colonial officials say it's unclear how a contractor, using heavy equipment, ruptured the pipeline. The contractor was conducting work to replace a section of pipeline that ruptured in September. That rupture resulted in spot shortages in Atlanta and elsewhere.
PHOTOS: Explosion near Alabama gas line