1 injured when ruptured gas line causes explosion in Wharton County

WHARTON COUNTY, Texas – One person was injured Thursday when a gas line ruptured, causing an explosion in Wharton County, according to Wharton County Emergency Management.

The explosion happened at around 12:15 p.m. when a 24-inch below-ground gas line ruptured and exploded on state right-of-way on FM 1164 and Highway 90, about five miles west of East Bernard.

Andy Kirkland, Wharton County Emergency Management Coordinator, said a man who was driving by in a truck was hurt. He was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

John Szymanski, Wharton County Precinct 2 Constable, said, "He was there when it exploded. I guess due to the explosion, the truck stalled out, he had to get out, run away from it and luckily, my understanding from EMS, he didn't have any burns. It was just some of injuries from the blast itself."

The gas has been turned off and authorities allowed the flame to burn itself out.

One home was evacuated.

Kirkland said, "At that time, we didn't know. All we knew is that we had a large fire and we didn't know if it had the possibility to grow or anything else. If you make a mistake, you err on the side of caution."

The gas line is owned by Enterprise Products, officials say.

The Wharton Co. Sheriff's Department, Wharton Co. Fire Department, East Bernard Volunteer Fire Department, Wallis Fire Department and Precinct 2 Constable's Office were on the scene.

TxDot crews are now working to repair the damaged road. FM 1164 is closed for now.