Pipeline explosion creates bright spectacle in Platte County sky

PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. – A pipeline erupted in flames at about 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Those flames have subsided following an explosion that happened in the middle of a rural field in the 9600 block of Mellon’s Bridge Road.

Earlier Tuesday night you could see flames from miles away, but the fire was under control at about 8 p.m.

Rick Rainey, VP of Public Relations for Enterprise Products Partners, told FOX 4 they responded to the site and an emergency protocol was initiated. The affected segment of the pipeline was isolated, a mix of ethane and propane remained. No injuries were reported and the cause is under investigation.

The good news was that the explosion happened in a remote area with no homes or buildings nearby. A sergeant with the Platte County Sheriff`s Office says the roads in the area can`t handle a high volume of traffic - and they need to people to steer clear of the area.

"We are just trying to keep the area contained, we are trying to have a perimeter set up, directing traffic to allow the fire crews to do what they need to do, have the gas company get in and get the pipeline shut down and access for damages and repairs," Sergeant Jeffrey Shanks said.

“I know everyone likes to come out and look at a scene but please, it`s not safe being dark this time of year, the roads simply can`t handle high volume of traffic with all the emergency vehicles,” he continued.

The explosion and subsequent fire were so big that people from miles around saw the flames, wondering what was happening.

“Well it was dark out here, but when we looked to the north all we could see were flames up above the trees, and we know from where we were at the trees are quite tall so we knew those flames were huge. And it lit up the night orange and there was smoke everywhere and it was a sight, it was quite a sight,” said witness Jennifer Hill.

Although the fire looked ominous from where the Hills were standing, she said once she found out on social media that the fire was under control and no one had come to her door telling her to evacuate, she was relieved to know her family was safe.

In fact, Major Erik Holland with the Platte County sheriff says no one was in real danger because the pipeline exploded in a field in a rural area, and that pipeline was shut off quickly so fire crews could knock it down.