HELENA, Ala. (AP) - A fire sparked by a huge explosion on a major gasoline pipeline continued burning Wednesday two days after the fatal blast as congressional Democrats sought an investigation of the Georgia-based operator.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for the state due to the explosion and fire at the pipeline.
The prospect of fuel shortages in the Northeastern U.S. has Canadian gasoline price analyst Dan McTeague guaranteeing a five-cent-per-litre rise. Colonial's line No. 2, which parallels line one, carries diesel.
The state of emergency came into effect on Tuesday, and will last until December 1 unless the governor decides to end it sooner.
The Colonial pipeline provides almost 40 percent of the region's gasoline and usually runs at or near full capacity. Pump prices in much of the southeast region began to drop once the bypass was in place, but they didn't return to the levels seen before the leak. But the fix process is slow moving, as crews continue to battle the still-burning fuel to make their way in to inspect the damage.
She also said that she is hopeful that gas prices will be back to normal in time for Thanksgiving travel.
Pete Valenti, deputy fire chief in Helena, said the pipeline was spewing a geyser of flame several hundred feet into the air when crews arrived. Minner says there is new technology and more stringent regulations being proposed to make sure Colonial Pipeline and other companies improve safeguards for workers and the community where these pipelines flow through.
Officials identified Heflin resident Anthony Lee Willingham as the worker who died in the explosion on a Shelby County gasoline pipeline.
And although this price change is just temporary, there will likely be a permanent five- to six-cent-per-litre increase in gas prices in the province in 2017, McTeague said. Colonial Pipeline said in a statement that it has shut down its main pipeline in Alabama a.
On the afternoon of October 31, an explosion occurred on the Colonial Pipeline Line 1, which carries gasoline from the Gulf Coast to as far east and north as North Carolina and is a key supply source for several states in between and beyond.
Colonial said it is working with federal, state and local agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation.
The company said it also had laid containment booms at two locations along the Cahaba River.