Man Killed in Gas Line Explosion
About the Rusk County Gas Explosion
KWTX reports that the crew was clearing a right of way for a natural gas pipeline when the line was struck and ruptured by a mulcher, resulting in an gas leak and explosion. The man operating the mulcher was killed in the explosion – his identity has not been released.
Sgt. David Roberts with the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office reported that the explosion did not result in a fire. Residents in the area were evacuated for a short time and allowed to return home Tuesday night.
There were no other injuries reported.
Causes of Gas Explosions
Gas explosions begin with a leak. As gas is released into the air, it mixes with common chemicals like oxygen and carbon dioxide. Once the gas to air ratio reaches a certain point, it becomes volatile and will ignite upon coming in contact with a sufficient heat source.
When ignited, the gas mixture begins to expand, building pressure until the object confining the gas gives. The final result is a loud, violent explosion.
Among the most common causes of gas explosions are:
- Excavation near a pipeline
- Defective valves
- Faulty piping
- Negligent maintenance
- Damage meters and regulators