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Ruptured pipeline rattles surrounding neighborhood

Residents react to gasline rupture near Citgo plant
Posted at 5:23 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 20:34:41-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A ruptured gas pipeline had an impact on residents and schools in the area near Refinery Row.

People who live near the refineries were relieved the situation wasn't worse than it was; their homes aren't too far from where those flames were burning.

“I seen a big ball of fire,” resident Kirk Moore said. “It was on the freeway. I wasn't sure of what was going on at the time."

That big ball of fire was coming from a gas pipeline that ruptured this morning near Interstate 37 and Buddy Lawrence Drive in Corpus Christi.

Folks who live just on the southbound side of the highway stood outside looking up at the flames.

"Everybody coming out checking, a whole bunch of cars making sure what's going on, video taping, keeping everybody else aware,” said Gina Lopez, who was visiting her mother when the explosion occurred. “She was in the backyard, felt a whole bunch of heat.”

Several homeowners told us they felt their house rattle before the fire erupted.

“A neighbor said she was on her way to a doctor's appointment, she was about to leave when she heard a big explosion and noticed that it was the refineries,” Lopez said. “And from here you keep hearing the gas lines pop."

City officials advised people to stay where they were, but some did choose to leave, afraid the situation could get worse.

Meanwhile, nearby schools were on lockdown. Miller High School, Driscoll Middle School and Oak Park Elementary were without power, leaving parents concerned.

"My child's scared,” said a Miller parent who only identified herself as Amanda. “There's no power in the school, there's no AC, she's scared."

That shelter-in-place was lifted at all three schools by 11:30 a.m., after power was restored.

According to a statement from CITGO, this incident does not pose any threat to the surrounding community.

Buddy Lawrence Drive remains closed off east of the highway.