TEXAS — The world’s largest pipeline has exploded in flames, spewing gas and releasing dangerous gases, as the company behind it prepares to complete construction on the first of two new natural gas pipelines that could provide Texas with a reliable source of energy.
More than 4,000 miles of pipe have leaked into the earth, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, and the fire is burning along the pipeline’s main section, which extends to the Gulf of Mexico.
The pipe burst, sending huge plumes of thick black smoke into the sky and spewing hazardous gases into the air, officials said.
It was the latest blow to the company, whose pipeline ruptured in June 2015, spewed dangerous gas into the atmosphere, and caused widespread power outages.
The company has said it will replace the pipeline with a new line that is safer and more environmentally sound.
But officials say there is no guarantee that that will happen.
A state fire marshal said firefighters have been battling flames along the new pipeline for nearly three hours, but no injuries have been reported.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The blaze is a disaster area, and there are no evacuation orders in effect.TEXAS Gov.
Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency and ordered the closure of all public and private facilities in the state.
The fire started after a gas line burst on the new gas pipeline at the site of the pipeline in Houston.
A hose and a hose clamp burst on top of a pipe that is about 2 feet long, 3 feet wide and 6 feet high, according a statement from the Texas Railroad Commission.
There were no injuries, and authorities say they have not yet determined the cause of the explosion.
The Texas Department for Public Safety said the fire has been contained and is out of control.
State law requires the temporary closure of the area, but the governor said he could extend the temporary measure until the new pipe is complete.
He also said he will not extend the order until all gas lines are inspected.
The Texas Railroad Commissioners said it took less than a minute for the line to rupture.
It was not immediately clear how many people were working on the construction site.