Neighbors in Vermilion Parish describe what it was like during pipeline rupture

Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 5:00pm

Louisiana State police are investigating what caused a natural gas line to rupture in Vermilion Parish.

"At first, I thought it was a tornado,” said Kyle Gaspard, who lives and works near the pipeline. “All I heard was it sounded like thunder."

Four o'clock Wednesday morning people living near Intracoastal City woke up to a fire show.

"I just kind of laid there saying this was it, and I looked out the window,” said Gaspard. “I saw my window and it was glowing."

Gaspard and his mom stood on the porch watching as flames rose 200 feet in the air topping the tree line.

Gaspard said he's never seen or heard anything like this before.

"It just shook and our house trembled it was shaking," said Gaspard.

"The first thing that went through my mind was something exploded I was waiting for there to be other explosions," said Gaspard.

According to emergency responders a privately owned natural gas line ruptured igniting a wall of flames.

Emergency crews cleared the scene asking people living near the gas line to evacuate and shutting down the intersection of highway 82 and highway 333.

"In a situation like this the best thing you can do is let it burn until you either shut off the valves," said 7th Ward Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Tommy Comesana.

About two and half hours later hazmat crews were able to shut off the valves to that line.

"The air was fine it was tested by DEQ,” said Comesana.

Emergency officials say no one was injured in the burst.

People living near the pipeline say they are thankful the dangerous rupture didn't cause any major damage.

"We are glad it was in the middle of a field, and they only thing they have to worry about was cattle," said Gaspard.

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