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Propane company is promoting safe digging

Safety is what it's all about, says Rick Rainey, a spokesman with Dixie Pipeline Company.

For more than a week now, Mr. Rainey along with more than two dozen workers from the company have been working to repair a ruptured propane pipeline that exploded after it was hit by a bulldozer being operated by McDuffie County Commissioner Paul McCorkle on Monday, July 5.

The mishap, which occurred on McCorkle Farm, located on the 300 block of Stagecoach Road near Belle Meade subdivision, killed Mr. McCorkle's 23-year-old son. The explosion also injured the older Mr. McCorkle.

No one got permission to do the work, Mr. Rainey said.

"I would hope this incident would serve as a reminder to anyone doing any excavation work or a homeowner digging in the area of a pipeline to call before they do any work," Mr. Rainey said during an interview with The McDuffie Mirror .

"Safety should always come first and foremost in anything. It's unfortunate that it sometimes takes tragedies like this one to get all of us to understand the real importance of safety."

During the past week, Mr. Rainey said those living near the explosion site had received safety brochures from his company and calendars that offer safety tips.

"We want to educate as many people about the importance of safety as we can, so that we don't have another tragedy," Mr. Rainey said. "Educating the public about the importance of safety is one of the ways we can prevent such accidents."

Dixie Pipeline Company is committed to the safe, reliable delivery of liquefied petroleum gas (LPGs), according to a statement in the brochure. "Our pipelines are designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained under strict standards employed by our company, the pipeline industry and the federal government," it says.

What should you do in a pipeline emergency?

Dixie Pipeline Company officials offer the following safety tips:

The first concern should be your personal safety as well as the safety of others in the area;

You should leave the area immediately, walking upwind of the suspected incident;

Abandon any equipment being used in or near the area;

From a safe location, notify Dixie Pipeline Company at 1-800-349-4377 so the leak can be verified and necessary corrective measures taken;

Also, notify the local fire department, police or sheriff's department or a state law enforcement agency -- advising them of the location and nature of the emergency;

Prior to arrival of any law enforcement agency, advise others not to enter the area.

For additional safety information, please go to

Web posted on Thursday, July 15, 2010

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