WEATHERFORD, Texas – Officials reported all workers were accounted for and safe after a gas pipeline ruptured and exploded, touching off a spectacular super-heated inferno that ignited several small brush fires and cut power to about 30,000 people in the surrounding area.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the contractor working the site reported all workers were accounted after initial reports said three were missing.
Fowler also says fuel has been shut off to the lines and the fires will be allowed to burn themselves out.
Several fires burned in a spread-out, rural area north of Weatherford, about 30 miles west of Fort Worth.
Fowler says the accident happened as some workers were laying a pipeline and a backhoe operator struck another pipeline that was buried.
At least half-a dozen vehicles — such as pickups — were burned. Several pieces of heavy equipment were in flames or had been scorched.
Nearby power lines also were burned.