Traffic stopped for hours after gas line rupture

Photo courtesy of DeSoto County Sheriff's spokesman Dick Hackett
Photo courtesy of DeSoto County Sheriff's spokesman Dick Hackett

(WMC-TV) - A ruptured gas line injured two workers and shut down traffic for hours Friday afternoon.

Highway 51 was shut down completely just north of the Tate County line as crews worked to repair the ruptured gas line.

Traffic reopened at 5 p.m.

Two workers with ATMOS Energy were reportedly inspecting a small leak in a four-inch pipeline with it sparked and exploded.  The flame reached up to 25 feet in the air.

Both workers were not critically injured and were being treated on the scene.

DeSoto County Sheriff's spokesman Dick Hackett spoke with both victims Friday afternoon and said they were burned on their arms and faces.

Family members of the injured workers arrived on the scene after hearing news of what happened.  The sister-in-law of one of the injured men said he is also a local preacher.

"I got a call that a pipeline blowed up in his face, and we rolled down here," said family member Doris Crawford.  "I thought he was gone.  Scared, you know."

The rupture was covered with dirt to lower the flame.

ATMOS Energy and a number of fire departments worked to cut off the gas supply to this explosion.

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