PIEDMONT, Okla. (KFOR) – A massive gas explosion happened at Waterloo Road and Piedmont Road, leaving a 40-foot crater, one month ago on Sept. 16.
The sky burned orange and KFOR phone lines rang off the hook after the 12-inch pipe ruptured. There were no injuries, but the fire ball incinerated nearby fields and downed power lines.
The scene looks a lot different than it did a month ago. The road has been repaved in the area and the grass is working on growing back. People who live near where the blast happened said they remember it all too well.
“I’d never seen anything like it in my whole life,” said Grant Christensen, whose family lives near the blast site. “It was 150 feet high, at least.”
The chaotic scene that caused a fiery inferno is now calm and cool. The City of Piedmont said the area was fixed up within days by the Denver-based company who owns the pipeline, DCP Midstream.
“DCP experienced a natural gas pipeline release on the Kingfisher pipe,” A DCP Midstream official said at the time.
The company later told KFOR that the 12-inch high pressure line had weakened over time and that’s what caused it to burst.
“I heard a loud explosion,” Christensen said. “It sounded like thunder.”
Christensen and his family live just yards from the blast location. He said they were shaken by the boom and it made their house rattle.
“Biggest thing I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Shook the house for ten seconds probably, it was really scary.”
Then, the fire came.
“It was so bright you couldn’t even look at it for too long, it would hurt your eyes,” Christensen said. “We could feel the heat from our back porch.”
Multiple agencies responded to the scene. No official evacuation orders were given but the family and many others in the area made a split-second decision to leave everything behind.
“We grabbed everything we could and just booked it up the road, that way we would be safe,” Christensen said.
The Christensen family even left their family dog Chester because he had run off during the blast. However, Chester found his way home the next morning.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Department of Environmental Quality both surveyed the area after the explosion. Aside from a 40-foot crater left behind, they reported no environmental ground damage or air quality concerns. Those living in the area, though, said they are still shaken to this day.
“It happened, so who’s to say that it won’t happen again,” Christensen said.
There is still some visible damage in the area on telephone poles and some property posts and fences.
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