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Mississippi Gas Pipeline Rupture Affects N.C.

Posted November 5, 2007

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— A propane pipeline that feeds North Carolina ruptured in Mississippi last week, sparking a fatal fire that has shut down the line, officials said.

A 12-inch-diameter Dixie Pipeline Co. line ruptured Thursday near Carmichael, Miss. At least two people were killed in the resulting gas explosion and fire, and dozens of nearby home were evacuated. Firefighters extinguished the fire by Saturday.

Dixie shut down the pipeline following the rupture, and crews have to install a new section of pipe to replace the damaged piece before the pipeline can resume operation, officials said.

The pipeline, which runs from Texas and terminates in Apex, is part of a 1,300-mile network of lines that transport propane to seven Gulf Coast and Southeast states.

Companies that usually come to Apex to get propane are tapping into storage reserves at the terminal, officials said. Some propane also is being transported to terminals along the pipeline that have run out of propane.

It's unclear when service will resume. Dixie officials said it wouldn't occur until the company and the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the rupture, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which is overseeing the repair, agree it is safe to do so.

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