Last week's pipeline explosion has some East Texans concerned

By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -  Pipeline safety is brought into the forefront following last week's gas pipeline explosion in California. At least four people were killed in that accident.

Gas pipelines are criss-crossing Nacogdoches County and most of East Texas. Stakes mark the path of a new line going through Joe Fuller's property of timber and hay meadows. He, like other property owners, had no choice in the matter.

"The freedom that they have to go anywhere, at any time. It's just general invasion of people's property rights," said Fuller.

This week the Nacogdoches Fire Department released natural gas safety reminders. Important to know since gas pipelines are everywhere.

"In general, we see very, very few major pipeline disasters. Most of those pipeline disasters, when they do occur, happen because people are digging," said Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger.

Pipeline companies do post signs warning people to call before any digging occurs. If the distinct odor of gas is smelled, take precautions.

"It's important that they leave the area immediately and call the fire department and notify the proper authorities to get those things stopped," said Kiplinger.

Fuller would like to see more stopped about the gas boom. Adjacent to his property, a large distribution center is under construction.

"It's never going to be timber again. It's never going to be pastures," said Fuller.

For Fuller the pipeline will eventually be out of sight, but it will never be out of mind.

According to the Associated Press, federal officials have recorded over 2,800 significant gas pipeline accidents since 1990. More than a third caused deaths and accidents.

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