Explosion in Alabama shuts gas pipeline, shortages possible

HELENA, Ala. (AP) - UPDATE: 11/02/2016

Executives at a pipeline company say their goal is to restart the line as early as this weekend after an explosion and fire shut down gasoline shipments to millions across the South.

The deadly explosion sparked a geyser of fire Monday and closed off the vital pipeline, raising fears of another round of gas shortages and price increases. It's Colonial Pipeline's second accident and shutdown in two months.

Continuing fires in the drought-stricken area of central Alabama hampered officials' efforts to fully assess the damage Tuesday afternoon, and firefighters built an earthen berm to contain the burning fuel.

The Georgia-based company says the accident happened when a dirt-moving track hoe struck the pipeline, ignited gasoline and sparked a blast, killing one worker and injuring five others.

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An explosion has shut down a pipeline that supplies gasoline to millions of people for the second time in less than two months.

One worker was killed and a half-dozen were injured in Monday's blast in Alabama.

An earlier pipeline leak not far from Monday's explosion led to Colonial Pipeline to shut down the delivery system in September. That prompted dry pumps and higher prices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The effects of the latest disruption aren't immediately clear.