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Hickman County gas plant explosion: What is happening

Jul 01, 2023

An equipment failure Friday at the Tennessee Gas Pipeline/Kinder Morgan Facility in Hickman County caused an explosion, forcing authorities to evacuate anyone in a one-mile radius.

The explosion was first reported at the plant on Highway 48 in Nunnelly about 8:20 a.m., a spokesperson with Kinder Morgan said.

"Kinder Morgan experienced an explosion and fire at one of the compressor buildings at a natural gas compressor station as a result of an equipment failure," the company said.

Kinder Morgan is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in the United States, operating 83,000 miles of pipeline transporting refined petroleum products, crude oil, ethanol and biodiesels. It also operates 72,000 miles of natural gas pipelines, the most in the U.S.

The Tennessee Gas Pipeline runs natural gas from Texas and Louisiana through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania in 11,900 miles of piping.

Amanda Siegel, the director of the Hickman County Emergency Management Agency, said shortly before noon Friday that one person was transported from the scene for a medical emergency that began after the explosion. The person transported to the hospital was released and is in good condition, said Amy Baek, a spokesperson for Kinder Morgan.

Siegel said employees were evacuated after the explosion.

Baek also said six employees were on site during the explosion and were accounted for.

After seven hours, officials lifted the evacuation of the area shortly after 3 p.m. Friday, according to Hickman County Dispatch Center.

Siegel said environmental agencies are on the scene and the plant has been shut down. Other buildings away from the explosion site will remain open and operational.

All personnel were evacuated and accounted, the company said. Kinder Morgan plans to investigate what caused the equipment to fail, they said.

Local law enforcement and fire departments, as well as HAZMAT crews with the Nashville Fire Department and Franklin Fire Department, responded to the scene and shut down Highway 48 to handle the situation.

Siegel said there is a small fire that crews are still working to extinguish but there's no air quality concerns at this time.

Two shelters are in place at the Fairfield Baptist Church and the Nunnelly Community Center for residents.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.