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Pipeline should be repaired this week

Repairs are expected to be completed this week on the pipeline that exploded when it was ruptured by a bulldozer at McCorkle Farm off Stagecoach Road near Thomson on Monday, July 5.

The mishap killed 23-year-old Jason McCorkle and injured his father, McDuffie County Commissioner Paul McCorkle.

Rick Rainey, a spokesman with Dixie Pipeline Company of Houston, Texas, told reporters on July 8 that the elder Mr. McCorkle had been working close to the pipeline and ruptured it when he hit the line while grading with a bulldozer.

Mr. Rainey said no one ever notified his company about any work being done on that property involving digging or excavating.

"This company stresses safety above everything," Mr. Rainey said. "That's why we urge anyone doing any kind of work around one of our pipelines to call us on our toll-free telephone line."

The company works out the details with the person wanting to do the dig or excavation and then the company sends one or more representatives to assure that all safety guidelines are being followed to a tee, Mr. Rainey explained.

"Safety is always paramount," he added.

Workers have been busy since the explosion trying to repair the liquid propane pipeline that was damaged on the McCorkle property, Mr. Rainey said, noting that about 50 workers from the pipeline company and sub-contract workers have been involved in repairing the line.

The pipeline stretches from Houston Texas to Apex, N.C.

Since the explosion, officials with Dixie Pipeline Company have been unable to extend service to wholesalers and distribution companies along the pipeline route from Thomson to North Carolina, Mr. Rainey said.

"Four of our terminals have been affected by this accident," he pointed out.

Mr. Rainey commended local fire officials, such as McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services Chief Bruce Tanner and Assistant Chief Stephen Sewell and other emergency workers for their services during the emergency and in the aftermath of the tragedy.

"We've enjoyed an outstanding working relationship with Chief Tanner and his people," Mr. Rainey said.

Web posted on Thursday, July 15, 2010

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