Friday, June 27, 2014

Kansas pipeline eruption leaves worrisome oily residue across Olpe

By Associated Press / June 24, 2014 

A damaged area of crop and range land, seen June 23, extends northward from the Panhandle Eastern pipeline that emitted a plume of dark, oily substance on Thursday at a Panhandle compressor station near Olpe, Kansas.

Dustin Michelson/Emporia Gazette/AP

Kansas health officials on Monday were at the site of natural gas pipeline eruption in eastern Kansas, where crops and trees have withered since a dark, oily plume burst from the line while crews were trying to perform maintenance.

Shrubs, crops, trees, and houses near Olpe were covered in an oily mist that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment told The Associated Press was natural gas condensate, a mix of natural gas and hydrocarbons. Since then, leaves on trees have begun to wither and soybeans have died. An unpleasant smell lingered Monday.

The accident happened Thursday along a Panhandle Eastern pipeline. Residents reported seeing the plume burst from the line and spread across nearby fields and yards, The Emporia Gazette reported. Olpe is a town of about 550 residents south of Emporia.

"I saw that smoke and thought, 'What the ---- is going on at the Panhandle?' It was all black coming out of there at 400-600 PSI," landowner Don Brown told the newspaper. "It was going everywhere."  MORE

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