HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — Helena Mayor Mark Hall called into the CBS42 News special report after a Colonial Pipeline gas line exploded in Shelby County near Helena.
Hall stressed the explosion is not in Helena jurisdiction, and all Helena residents are safe. Watch his full interview above, including his explanation about how all the local departments train specifically for this type of response with Colonial Pipeline.
He says Colonial Pipeline crews were working on the line when it exploded. According to L.E. Bell Construction Co based in Heflin, they had workers at the Colonial Pipeline. They aren’t releasing the number of workers they had out there this afternoon.
Crews with the Alabama Forestry Commision have contained the fires that resulted from the pipeline explosion. They burned a total of 31 acres. 3 bulldozers from the AFC are on the scene, and one from Shelby County is there. A temporary flight restriction for a three mile radius is in effect, the Alabama EMA says.
Firefighters are on the scene working to build a seven to eight foot dirt dam to contain the burning fuel until it burns out. They don’t know how long that will take or how long they will be out there.
Several cleanup units are on the scene; Birmingham fire is providing foam. Eight to nine people were injured in the explosion and some are believed to be severely burned.
Colonial Pipeline released the following statement:
Colonial has shut down its mainlines in Shelby County, Ala., after reports of a fire on its right of way. Colonial personnel and emergency crews are responding.
Colonial’s top priorities are the health and safety of the work crew on site and protection of the public.
More information will be posted on www.colpipe.com as it becomes available and is confirmed.