A series of natural gas pipeline explosions in Midland County, Texas on Wednesday hospitalized seven people with injuries and highlighted the risks of transporting fossil fuels.
Dr. Sandra Steingraber, a New York-based scientist who advocates against hydraulic fracturing—a fossil fuel extraction method also called fracking—tweeted that her experience seeking an update on the explosions reminded her how often pipelines carrying natural gas blow up:
Over the past two months, four Oklahoma Natural Gas workers and a firefighter were injured by an explosion in Tulsa; a pipeline that exploded outside of Hesston, Kansas caused a fire 100 feet high; and, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “an explosion in a newly installed natural gas line near Moundsville, West Virginia shot flames into the sky that could be seen for miles.”
In Texas on Wednesday, “there were three total explosions, the first at 11:30am,” according to KFVS 12. “After suppressing the initial fire, a second and third small explosion followed at 12:30pm.”
Multiple people were airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock, and at least two of those injured were firefighters. The Houston Chronicle reported that as of Thursday, at least one worker remained in critical condition.
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