Sept. 10–An orange glow illuminated the dark morning sky after a natural gas pipeline exploded at around 5 a.m. in Center Township, Beaver County.
The incident occurred in the area of Brodhead Road and Ivy Lane, according to emergency officials. There were no initial reports of injuries.
Residents from between 25 and 30 homes were evacuated to the fire hall along Brodhead and were being assisted by the Red Cross.
“The main priority was public safety and that is what the fire department and police department did,” Center Township Fire Chief Bill Brucker said at a news conference this morning. “We got everybody off of Ivy Lane and that’s what’s important.”
One of the few vehicles allowed into the area where the fire was being fought was a trailer to remove several horses that were relocated to a safe area.
Brucker said the heat and flames shooting into the air were “intense.”
“Unfortunately, we did lose one residential home and two garages” along Ivy Lane, he said.
Crews from Energy Transfer Corp., which is based in Dallas, Texas, were able to stop the gas leaking from the 24-inch line by turning off interrupter valves located about 15 miles apart, Kramer said.
The flames, which were visible from several miles way, began to subside after gas in the lines burned off.
The incident also caused high tension power lines to fall across several nearby roads.
Interstate-376, or the Beaver Valley Expressway, is closed in both directions between the Center Township Exit 42 and the City of Aliquippa Exit 45. All traffic is being detoured.
A section of Brodhead also will be closed until utilities crews can repair the damage and restore service to customers who lost power.
The Central Valley School district cancelled classes for all students and issued a notice on its website that no bus transportation will be provided today for non-public, parochial or charter schools.
Center is about 30 miles northwest of Downtown Pittsburgh.
Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or email@example.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.
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