Natural gas pipeline explosion in Adair destroys homes, barns, vehicles

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 Kentucky Press News Service

A Columbia Gulf Transmission natural gas pipeline in the Knifley community in Adair County erupted into a ball of flame shortly after 1 a.m. CDT today. Three homes, two barns and four vehicles were destroyed, Greg Thomas, Adair County Emergency Management director, told Bowling Green's WBKO-TV.

Witnesses said the explosion and fire could been seen as far away as Russell Springs and the shock was felt for miles, the station said on its website.

One person was injured and hospitalized, WBKO reported.

The fire is said to now be under control and that pipeline employees trained in pipeline safety are now on the scene.

WBKO reported that all other persons are now accounted for. The explosion site was some distance off the main highway.

A link to the WBKO report can be found here  http://goo.gl/MrdfgY.

The Kentucky State Police are advising motorist to avoid the Knifely area of KY 76 in Adair County. The portion of the road from Baker's Store to Eastridge Cemetery will be closed indefinitely.

Columbia Pipeline Group has issued its own statement about the explosion. 

"While we regret that two individuals were injured this morning as a result of our ruptured pipeline, we are pleased to report that both have been released from the hospital. We remain thankful that there were no further injuries. Our staff is on site and speaking with those individuals, as well as reaching out to the local Red Cross, to offer any assistance that would help the community during this time.  Columbia is and remains committed to our neighbors in Kentucky," the company has posted on its website.

The company added their appreciation to the first responders who are assisting with the situation. 

The full statement is here  http://goo.gl/kIqv21.