Colonial Pipeline Fire Caused by Construction Equipment
Colonial Pipeline Co. shut down its mainlines in Shelby County, Alabama, Oct. 31, after reports of a fire on its right of way. The company announced that a contract crew working on Colonial’s gasoline pipeline (Line 1) struck the line with a trackhoe.
After the fire was reported, Colonial shut down its two mainlines — Line 1 and Line 2 — in the region. The incident location is several miles from the site of the Sept. 9 spill in Shelby County.
As of the morning of Nov. 1, local emergency responders had contained the fire, which is being allowed to burn under the supervision of local fire and emergency management personnel.
Five individuals were transported to Birmingham-area hospitals for treatment, and there was one fatality recorded at the scene. In a statement on its website, Colonial expressed its condolences for the deceased and injured.
“Our top priorities continue to be ensuring the safety of responders, and supporting the personnel and their families who have been impacted by this event,” the Nov. 1 statement said. “To that end, we are working with our contractor partner and have deployed a family and community support team, which includes grief counselors. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased, and our thoughts and prayers remain with the four individuals who were injured and who continue to receive care at area hospitals.”
Colonial also reported that no observable impacts have been noted on nearby waterways or drainage paths. For cautionary reasons, the company deployed containment boom at two different locations on the Cahaba River.
Colonial is working with federal, state and local agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, Alabama Department of Emergency Management, Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Shelby County Emergency Management Agency, Regional Paramedical Services, the Cahaba Riverkeeper and fire departments from Chilton, Tuscaloosa and Shelby counties and the cities of Pelham and Helena.
Line 1 remains shut down, and the company anticipates the gasoline pipeline to remain out of operation for the remainder of this week. Colonial’s Line 2, which transports diesel, jet fuel and other distillates, was restarted at approximately 11 p.m. CDT on Oct. 31.
Colonial will continue to post updates on the incident at https://helena.colonialresponse.com as information becomes available and is confirmed.
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