Pipeline ruptures, explodes in Pettis County, Mo. late Thursday night

PETTIS COUNTY, Mo. - Residents are back in their homes following a pipeline explosion in Pettis County, Mo.

Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company tells our Kansas City sister station, 41 Action News, a 30-inch pipeline ruptured at approximately 11:55 p.m. Thursday, sending flames several hundred feet in the air.

The rupture and ensuing explosion happened in Hughesville, which is about 75 miles to the east of Kansas City, Mo.

Those living in the area described the explosion as being similar to an earthquake: "A percussion wave shook the whole house," said Pettis Co. resident Doug Spencer. "I honestly didn't know what had happened."

Sedalia resident Elizabeth Sutherlind said it "felt like an earthquake" and that it sounded like her "whole house cracked." Kelly Neth, who lives approximately 20 miles away from the pipeline explosion, said she and her family could see flames shooting into the air, and that her family could both hear the explosion and were physically shaken by the blast.

No workers were present at the pipeline location and no injuries were reported, according to the company spokeswoman Vicki Granado.

The pipeline is located on a swine farm; seven buildings caught fire, but fortunately, no hogs were injured.

After the explosion, Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond ordered residents within a 3-mile radius to be evacuated, later reducing the evacuation zone to a half-mile radius. All residents have since been able to return to their homes.

Firefighters from ten different stations were called to the scene. It burned for nearly six hours.  

Back in 2008, the company had a pipeline rupture, creating a 50-foot deep hole. No one was injured in the incident.

Sedalia resident John Pahlow posted this video of the pipeline to YouTube. Pahlow said he arrived about 15 minutes after the explosion occurred and was approximately 10-15 blocks away when he recorded this video.

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