BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Two people were injured Tuesday morning in a natural gas pipeline explosion on the East Reservation of Barksdale Air Force Base, according to base officials
According to a statement released by the 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs Unit, two contracted personnel from Energy Transfer LP sustained injuries as a result of the explosion and were taken to a local medical facility for care.
Both were reportedly critically injured, suffering extensive and severe burns. The family of one of the men, identified by LifeShare as Adam Purland, issued a plea through LifeShare Tuesday evening for blood donations.
The explosion happened at 11:40 a.m. and caused a “small fire” they say affected about a half-acre of land, with no further damage to installation property.
“The safety of all those in our community is a top priority,” Col Scott Weyermuller, 2d Bomb Wing Base Commander said in the statement. “The swift response of our emergency management teams and our community partners played a critical role in minimizing the impact to the installation and local area.”
There are a number of well sites on the installation, but the base won’t say exactly how many for security purposes.
Haughton resident Elvira Hauck said she initially thought it was demolitions that were planned on the base Tuesday.
“That’s what we thought it was in today. It blew up again. Well, northeast Barksdale I believe it was. That wasn’t the demolition thing that was going on at the base. It was the gas line that blew up. It sounded like a big ol’ mushroom that blown up.”
The base says the incident is unrelated to controlled detonations that occurred in a different area on Barksdale Air Force Base Tuesday morning, or to the ongoing construction on a new I-20/I-220 interchange project that will create a new access road into BAFB.
Earlier Tuesday, Barksdale AFB shared an advisory warning nearby residents of the base of demolitions scheduled to take place through 3 p.m. on the East Reservation. The base said the demolitions took place in a different area of the East Reservation and are not related to the explosion.
In an earlier statement, the base said the cause of the gas well explosion is under investigation.
Barksdale has referred all additional questions about the pipeline explosion to the pipeline company.