10-16-15 – Location – Encinal, Texas – Incident – Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion

A natural gas pipeline owned by Lewis Energy Group exploded and caught fire early on Friday near Encinal, south Texas, though the blaze was contained and no injuries were reported, the company and local officials said.

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The cause of the fire, which broke out around 4 a.m. CDT just west of the city, was unclear, the company said. Local fire departments were working to extinguish the blaze, which could be seen lighting up the night sky for miles around according to pictures captured on local media.

“Multiple fire departments that responded this morning have contained the fire and the immediate danger to surrounding residents and motorists is over,” the La Salle County Sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page.

The Encinal City Manager’s office said there have been no reported injuries from the fire and no evacuations ordered. State Highway 44 in Encinal was reopened after being closed following the explosion, the sheriff’s office said.

An inspector from the Texas Railroad Commission, which overseas oil and gas pipelines in the state, was en route to the site.

Local media initially reported that the explosion was from an oil pipeline, but the company confirmed that it was a natural gas line.

The size of the pipeline was not known and there was no immediate impact on natural gas prices.

Privately owned San Antonio-based Lewis Energy is a natural gas producer that operates more than 1,400 natural gas wells, according to the company website.