Flames shoot into the sky from a gas line explosion in western Shelby County, Alabama, U.S., October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry.

Flames shoot into the sky from a gas line explosion in western Shelby County, Alabama, U.S., October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry.

While cops are playing soldier with military equipment, snipers nested in hills, and busy writing numbers on the arms of those arrested, and white Ndakotans are busy yelling slurs, making fun of the dumb Indians, and oil companies continue to insist all this pipeline stuff is just so darn safe…LEAKA LEAKA BOOM LEAKA. Unfortunately, it’s Alabama who sees this explosion, with fatalities, injuries, fires, and of course, gasoline everywhere. Some of us in Ndakota aren’t too keen on this happening here. Oh, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of the person who died. People are doing this work because it’s work, and well paid work in areas which don’t have much of that going on. No one should end up dead because they wanted to make a living wage.

Colonial Pipeline Co shut down its main gasoline and distillates pipelines on Monday after an explosion and fire in Shelby, Alabama, killing a worker and sending five to the hospital – the second time in two months it had to close the crucial supply line to the U.S. East Coast.

A nine-man crew was conducting work on the Colonial pipeline system at the time of the explosion, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley told a briefing. Seven of the crew members were injured, with two evacuated by air.

The explosion occurred when a contract crew hit the gasoline pipeline (Line 1) with a trackhoe, igniting gasoline, Colonial said an e-mailed statement late on Monday.

One worker died at the scene and five individuals were taken to Birmingham-area hospitals for treatment, the company said.



A segment of pipeline was undergoing maintenance on Monday afternoon when it exploded. The fire had been contained as of around 9 p.m. (0100 GMT on Tuesday), according to local media reports.

Crews built a 8-foot (2-meter) tall dirt dam to contain burning fuel, Bentley said on Twitter late on Monday.

The explosion sparked wildfires, burning 32 acres, the governor said.



Bentley’s office said on Twitter the site was about a mile west of a massive leak last month that closed the gasoline pipeline for over 12 days. A 3-mile (4.8-km) area around the site had been evacuated, the governor said.Colonial was working to restart a section of pipeline damaged after its biggest leak of gasoline in nearly two decades on Sept. 9, which released as much as 8,000 barrels (336,000 gallons) of gasoline in Shelby County. The restart was planned for mid-November after removal of a bypass line installed after the September leak.


The 5,500-mile (8,850-km) Colonial Pipeline is the largest U.S. refined products pipeline system and transports gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the New York Harbor area. The pipelines that shut run from Houston to Greensboro, North Carolina.

It has already had five spills reported in Alabama in 2016, including the one in September, according to PHMSA data.

Gosh, it would be great if people could figure out that pipelines are not safe, they are not just short term destructive, they are long time destructive, they will see this planet dead, and then what? As Mark Trahant has been at pains to point out, decisions could be made right now, which would not only turn things around, make Ndakota a leader in clean energy, but be a large, and permanent economic boost. That isn’t happening because KKKJack is so damn deep in oil’s pockets, he’ll lose everything if he doesn’t push this through, and he’s a known bigot who thinks there would be no loss if all us Indians dropped dead. The Ndakota cops, such as they are, have been sold to DA and ETP, paid thugs for oil, all for the price of getting to play soldier with shiny toys.

That’s really the key in North Dakota — and beyond. Starting the transition by saying that Dakota Access Pipeline represents our past and a mistake. And as part of a managed decline, major fossil fuel infrastructure projects — this pipeline — are no more.

But what about the jobs? What will this do to North Dakota? Actually it could be a great thing. Data from Stanford researchers shows that the transition to clean energy could happen faster than projected — and benefit a state almost immediately. In North Dakota the Solutions Project says an transformation “plan pays for itself in as little as 2 years from air pollution and climate cost savings alone.” Two years? Imagine the intellectual activity, the construction, the jobs, the fresh investment, all that would come together to make that so. It would be mind-blowing.  The Stanford data says such a transition would create 8,574 permanent operations jobs and 21,744 construction jobs.

Doesn’t that sound good? Sounds good to me. But no, better to force this fucking destruction through, and hey, if Ndakota happens to go happily Hitlerian genocidal, well, it’s just a buncha Injuns, right?

Full story here.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    A horrible accident, my thoughts are with the dead, injured and otherwise hurt.

    As bad as it is I’m guessing it could have been much worse, during a drier season for example, it’s conceivable that the wildfires may have been bigger than 32 acres.

    One thing with iron and steel is that they produce sparks when hit, but steel is a strong and cheap building material. Add gasoline at a pressure to the mess or even a half-empty pipe, and it’s going to get really bad really quick.

  2. says

    Every death is a tragedy and death at work perhaps even more so. Nobody should die just by doing their job. However there is no job with zero risks, humans are fallible and therefore accidents will inevitably happen no matter what. Flammable chemicals are inherently dangerous and accidents can and do happen whenever people are working with them. And we will need oil even if we (hopefully) stop wasting it by burning it. It is an absolutely invaluable resource for all kinds of stuff.

    The role of state is to minimize the occurrences of such accidents and provide infrastructure to effectively minimize their negative impact and provide help when they happen. This regulatory oversight by state is absolutely necessary, because people in general tend to underestimate the likeliness of accidents actually happening to them personally.

    I do not want to seem to bash US nonstop -- I know full well that EU is no paradise -- but I think it is no coincidence that US has over time consistently about twice the fatal injury at work rate than does the European Union. This is of course my personal interpretation of the data, but my take on the issue is that the overall downward trend in such accidents on both sides of the Atlantic is due to better technology. And the difference is due to different legislature (less regulative oversight in US than in EU).

    And combine this with complete disregard for environment and native people, and Dakota Access Pipeline is a disaster as sure as sunrise. It is not a question if, only a question when. There are people who evidently think that “minimizing risks” means “move it somewhere where I do not see it” or “move it towards Indians instead of Bismarck”. That is not how world works however.

  3. intransitive says

    One can be sure the corporate media will either separate this story from North Dakota by 15-20 minutes in the broadcast, or only cover one during a broadcast. They will be desperate to avoid any mention of the direct link between the stories, avoid anything that suggests, “It happens there, it can happen here.”

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