SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. – Several people were injured and one person was later reported dead in a massive explosion near the Colonial Gas pipeline in Shelby County, Ala. on Monday.
Fire officials in Helena, Ala. said the explosion occurred at a Colonial Pipeline facility west of the site of a leak that caused gas shortages across the South earlier this year.
Investigators said subcontractors were working on a section of pipeline around 3 p.m. when a trackhoe the crew was using hit a line, causing gasoline to ignite and catch fire.
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A news release from the company said a total of five people were transported to hospitals in the Birmingham area and at least one person was reported dead at the scene.
The company said in that same statement that its "deepest condolences go out tonight to the family and friends of the person who was lost today, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured."
Alabama Gov. Robert Bently issued a statement on Twitter saying, "My Office is closely monitoring the explosion in Helena, receiving updates from State & local officials. Pray for workers, rescue personnel."
Colonial Pipeline, an Alpharetta-based company, said that both mainlines have been shut down and it's unclear how it will affect the availability of gasoline.
The Shelby County Alabama Sheriff's Office issued a statement saying:
As of 7:30 p.m. the situation is contained and emergency personnel will remain on scene monitoring the area of the explosion. Please avoid the area to continue to allow emergency crews easy access to the site of the explosion. We will provide updates as they are available. We wish to thank all the first responders who so quickly responded and put themselves in harms way for the citizens they serve.
PHOTOS | Explosion near Alabama gas line