An explosion Monday afternoon on the Colonial pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama, killed one worker, seriously injured at least five others and shut down a major gasoline and diesel artery that moves fuel from Texas to the East Coast, according to The Wall Street Journal and other sources.

The Colonial Pipeline, which runs 5,500 miles from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the New York Harbor area, is the largest refined products pipeline system in the U.S. Following the announcement, gasoline prices spiked on fears of shortages.

According to The Huntsville Times, contractors experienced the problem when a trackhoe hit the line. A member of the conservation group Cahaba Riverkeeper told The Huntsville Times that the fire was still burning around the site of the explosion where the gas was still in the pipeline, but it had not reached the Cahaba River.

This is the second time in two months Colonial Pipeline Company has closed the crucial supply line. In September, a gasoline leak caused the pipeline to temporarily shut down.

Industrial Info's Oil & Gas Pipeline Industry Platform covers natural gas, crude oil and refined products pipelines with lengths of 50 miles or more, with at least 1,000-horsepower compressor or pump station capacity.


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