Oil Pipeline Explodes Near Milford, Texas. Vehicles Destroyed, No Injuries Reported

by Frank Heinz / NBCFW.com

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A fire is raging near the southern Ellis County town of Milford after a gas pipeline exploded and damaged several vehicles Wednesday morning.

According to county officials, a 10-inch pipeline southeast Milford along Cosby Road was being worked on when it exploded.  The cause of the explosion has not yet been revealed and, according to Fire Chief Mark Jackson, there have been no injuries reported.

The scene is in an open field, with no nearby structures threatened.  There are several vehicles that were parked near the pipeline that have been destroyed by the explosion and fire.

At this time, firefighters from neighboring cities have been called in to assist, however there are no firefighters at the scene and officials said they are simply letting the fire burn out.

Roughly 200 students in the Milford Independent School District are being evacuated as a precaution and taken to nearby Italy.  Lt. James Salter with the Milford Police Department said the town’s 800 residents are also being evacuated.

As Chopper 5 flew to the scene, a massive plume of smoke was clearly visible on the horizon from about 40 miles out.  From 20 miles out, the flames shooting up into the air were visible, according to Ames Meyer, on board Chopper 5.  The smoke plume is blowing to the northwest, toward Milford and I-35E.

The Texas Department of Transportation is assisting in the area by detouring traffic to I-35E and closing several roads in the area.  Drivers are urged to find alternative routes and to plan for delays. The following roads are closed:

  • Farm-to-Market Road 308 in Milford — Closed from state Highway 22 in Hill County to U.S. Highway 77 in Ellis County.
  • U.S. Highway 77 in Milford — Closed in the immediate area of the explosion.
  • Interstate 35E exit ramps to Milford are closed.

The Texas Railroad Commission said an inspector has been dispatched to the area.  An Ellis County judge said the gas line is owned by Chevron.

Milford is a small town along Interstate 35E, northeast of Hillsboro in southern Ellis County.  It is about 50 miles south of Dallas.

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