A natural gas pipeline explosion killed ten people, including five children, on August 20, 2000, at a campsite near the New Mexico Pecos River.
This 30-inch natural gas pipeline exploded around 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning, leaving 86 feet long, 46 feet deep crater in the earth. The campers 200 feet away under the bridge stood no chance when the ruptured line became a flame-thrower, engulfing the victims in a ball of fire. State Police Captain John Balderston said:
“The evidence out there at the scene indicates it was horrendously hot. It incinerated everything in its path. If it burned for as long as we think it burned, that explains the extensive damage to the vehicles and to the property and people. I’ve never seen anything like this. We’ve had some tragedies, but this is the worst I’ve seen.”
John Somerhalder, president of the pipeline group of El Paso Energy, believes there was no foul play, but instead just a very tragic accident. A spokeswoman for the New Mexico State Police Department stated:
“They were consumed by a huge ball of fire.”
Two other adults are still alive but in critical condition after jumping in the river once they realized they were on fire. The couple then ran back to the site to retrieve their three children, 22-month-old Kelsey and 6-month-old twins Timber and Tamber, but the fire was raging too hard, and the children perished in the explosion.
With so much attention being brought to the fight against oil and natural gas pipelines in the media recently, this is just one testament to the dangers of these types of projects. People forget that spills are terrible but even worse, ten people were just burned alive in a massive ball of fire, and just so we could earn a dollar using natural gas.
Let’s hope these people did not die in vain and that regulators start paying attention to the extreme issues that their pipelines can cause.
The following video is footage shot of a pipeline explosion in Appomattox, VA.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the explosion happened on “Saturday,” and attributed to sources also stating the error, when it in fact happened on August 20, 2000. Liberal America apologizes for the error.
Featured Image Via The Independent