Pipeline fire still burning out; Colonial officials hope repairs can be made soon to avoid gas crunch

A look at the Colonial Pipeline fire on Monday, Oct. 31. The fire is much lower now, but must burn out before repairs can be made.

A look at the Colonial Pipeline fire on Monday, Oct. 31. The fire is much lower now, but must burn out before repairs can be made.

HELENA, Ala. – A fire is still burning at a gasoline pipeline in Alabama nearly two days after an explosion killed a worker and injured five others.

Nine contractors were on site at the time of this incident and one died of injuries sustained on location. Five others were injured and transported to local hospitals. One of those five has been treated and released with four remaining in area hospitals.

Officials with the Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline Co. say the flame at the accident site southwest of Birmingham, Alabama, is significantly smaller than it had been.

But the fact that the fire is still burning means fuel is still available. The company has said as much as 168,000 gallons of gasoline could have burned, spilled, evaporated or remained in the pipeline following the blast Monday afternoon. The pipeline supplies gasoline to the Southeast.

Officials say they hope to repair the pipeline as early as this weekend to avoid a possible gas crunch. But repairs can’t begin until the fire is out and the area cools down.