Pipeline explosion in Noble County

Residents of Noble County were shaken early Wednesday morning when part of a pipeline exploded in a remote field along Ohio 513, about three miles north of Summerfield.

According to a press release from the Noble County EMA, at approximately 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, many area residents reported an explosion and fire to the 911 Center. Summerfield Volunteer Fire Department, Belle Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Caldwell Volunteer Fire Company, United Ambulance and the Noble County Sheriff’s Office were all sent to the scene as the Noble County EMA was notified. There are multiple pipelines in the same footprint and several facilities in the area. All companies with assets nearby, including pipelines, exercised precautions including shutting in their locations (the implementation of a production cap set lower than the available output of a specific site). They also made contact with the first responders, and some had

representatives on the scene well into the day, working to ensure the public’s ongoing safety. As of Wednesday afternoon, no evacuations or injuries had been reported and all fires were out.

Cheryl Rubel, who lives near Cadiz, posted a public video on Facebook of the fire which was preceded by a series of explosions. She commented that she saw the fire “up close and personal” and was thankful no one was hurt.

“This was actually on my husband’s father’s property,” she told The Marietta Times. “It shook the whole house and we looked out every window and it just glowed orange.”

Rubel said nothing like this has ever happened in the area that she’s aware of and she doesn’t generally live in fear of such explosions in an area that has a lot of pipelines and natural gas wells.

The pipeline has been identified as the 24-inch Seneca Lateral operated by Tallgrass Energy, which was working on the scene with local responders. Tallgrass notified the appropriate authorities and activated an investigative team, expected to arrive late Wednesday. Tallgrass is working cooperatively with local and state agencies and regulators, according to Noble EMA, to ensure the safety of the general public as the investigation continues.

Jen Miller, director of Sierra Club Ohio, issued a statement about the explosion.

“We are extremely relieved that no one was physically injured as a result of this pipeline explosion, and we express our gratitude to the first responders whose bravery kept everyone safe. The devastation caused has not yet been fully measured. The project has caused untold damage with its countless disasters, threatening public and private lands, communities, and the public health. Enough is enough. Fracked gas pipelines are dirty, dangerous, and not needed, and it’s past time that we stop any more of these projects from being constructed,” she said.

The communications office at Tallgrass Energy can be reached at 303-763-3568.


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