CHICAGO -- A Texas town was evacuated today after a gas pipeline operated by Chevron (IW 500/2) exploded, but there were no reports of injuries.
"At 9:30 this morning I had a report of an explosion on a Chevron pipeline," said Jo Ann Livingston, a spokeswoman for the Ellis county sheriff's office. "Chevron requested that the town of Milford be evacuated and it was."
Around 200 school children were among those evacuated, Livingston said. They were taken to a nearby high school.
"I'm not aware of any injuries to people in town," Livingston said.
Local media reported that the natural gas transmission line blew when it was hit by an on-site construction crew.
Workers were able to escape the drilling rig without injury before it was engulfed in flames, Dallas television station WFAA-TV reported.
Images posted on the station's website showed huge plumes of smoke and massive flames rising up from the blast site in an otherwise empty field.
"Chevron has initiated its emergency response procedures and is currently responding to the incident," the company said in a statement. "Chevron's primary concern at this point is to ensure the safety of its employees and the surrounding community."
Milford has a population of 700 and is about 50 miles south of Dallas.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013