HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — An explosion happened Friday morning at a gas plant in Hickman County.
The explosion happened around 8:20 a.m. at the Tennessee Gas Pipeline/Kinder Morgan facility located at 2775 Highway 48 North in Nunnelly. Several hours later, a small fire was still burning inside the building as HAZMAT teams work to contain the flames, according to EMA Director Amanda Seigel.
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The explosion happened at one of the compressor buildings at a natural gas compressor station as a result of an equipment failure near Centerville, according to Kinder Morgan.
Seigel said the explosion blew out the upper tier of the walls of the building.
One employee experienced a medical emergency and was taken to an area hospital with symptoms not directly related to the explosion, but they have since been discharged. Officials said the six employees who were on site during the incident are okay and accounted for.
The Hickman County Sheriff’s Office evacuated an estimated 200 people within a one-mile radius of the facility. The Fairfield Church of Christ was open for anybody needing shelter amid the evacuation, in addition to the Nunnelly Community Center.
Meanwhile, a two-mile air restriction was put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration. A portion of Highway 48 in the immediate area was also closed to traffic for several hours.
Around 2:30 p.m. Friday, authorities said the evacuation order around the gas plant had been lifted. All roadways are currently back open.
According to the sheriff’s office, multiple emergency response agencies were called in to assist with the situation, including the Centerville Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Centerville Fire Department, Hickman County EMA, the Franklin Fire Department, the Nashville Fire Department, Williamson County EMA, the East Hickman Fire Department, the Coble Fire Department, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and the Hickman County Rescue Squad.
“We would also like to think the numerous area businesses which help support the firefighters by providing food and water, these are numerous and we don’t wanna leave anybody out by mentioning by name,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
Kinder Morgan said the facility has been closed as a precaution, adding that a safety assessment is underway. Then, once it’s safe to access the site, officials will conduct cleanup activities and develop a repair plan.
The investigation into the cause of the explosion is still ongoing.