A natural gas main north of Uniontown exploded this afternoon. The incident happened near Woodlawn Church Road at around 4:15 on Sunday. Perry County Sheriff’s Deputy Dudley Barton, who was near the scene restricting traffic access to Woodlawn Church Rd. at its intersection with County Road, 23, said he heard the explosion from his home.
A resident who was visiting relatives nearby said the explosion shook the house when it happened.
While the fire had drawn a crowd of onlookers and created something of a traffic jam on Co. Rd. 23 that afternoon—an unusual occurrence in itself—no injuries have been reported to have resulted from the conflagration.
Smoke and flames were visible, and the roar of the flames could be heard, for several miles in all directions Sunday afternoon as the pipeline company and local first responders worked to get the scene under control. Barton said the pipeline system included an automatic shutoff in case of emergencies like this one, and that that had already been activated.
The cause of the explosion was unknown at the time this article was published.
Barton said this was the first natural gas line explosion in Perry County that he could remember, but one had occurred in Marengo County between Uniontown and Demopolis several years ago.
While there were fire departments on the scene from Vaiden, Marion, and Uniontown, as well as Perry County Sheriff Billy Jones and several other deputies, ultimately, there was little anyone could do to extinguish the blaze. In spite of the shutoff valve, there will still have been a large quantity of gas trapped in the line that will have to burn itself out before pipeline crews can get close enough to inspect the damage and begin repairs.
In the meantime, firefighters and deputies are trying to keep the flames contained, and curious residents from getting close enough to the scene to jeopardize their own safety.