REFUGIO, Texas – A natural gas pipeline explosion and fire in Refugio shook homes up to 60 miles away early Wednesday morning.
The flames from the explosion shot more than 200 feet into the air and could be seen from miles around.
"The area was lit up as if it were daylight for miles around," the Refugio County sheriff said in a statement.
Heat from the fire could be felt a quarter of a mile away, according to the sheriff.
The blast shook R.L. Brown's home, more than 20 miles away.
"First, I thought it was thunder," Brown said. "Couldn’t have been thunder because it was so loud and vibrated the house, you know?"
It was about midnight when troopers received the first reports of a large explosion between Corpus Christi and Victoria, about 160 miles southwest of the Houston area.
Troopers say the explosion occurred along a natural gas pipeline owned by Kinder-Morgan about a quarter-mile off 427 FM Rd 774.
Kinder Morgan released a statement saying they shut down the pipeline segment as soon as they were notified and regulatory agencies were alerted.
An investigation into the cause of the release is being conducted by the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas.
KHOU 11 viewer Andy Dustin claims he could see the orange glow from about 150 miles away in Katy.
And more than 150 miles away in Waller County, sheriff's deputies thought the fire was much closer.
Deputy Andrew Blauser said he saw an ominous orange wall that glowed like an erupting volcano. He rushed to track down the source.
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