Deadly explosion shuts down gas pipeline in Alabama

An Alabama pipeline explosion killed one worker Monday, threatening to raise gasoline prices throughout the southeast. The Colonial Pipeline Co. said it shut down the gasoline and diesel lines after a crew hit the gasoline pipeline with a track hoe, causing an explosion and fire.

The company plans to keep the gasoline pipeline closed for the rest of the week, but reopened the diesel line late Monday. Gasoline futures spiked Tuesday morning, and state AAA branches said gas prices are expected to rise in the southeast.

Phil Flynn, an energy market analyst at the Price Futures Group, said area prices could go up by 10-15 cents a gallon.

“You’re going to have to ship in oil from other places, either by ship or by rail, so it’s going to tighten the markets in other places going forward,” Flynn said. “I think you’re going to see prices go up almost immediately.”

Colonial moves more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and other fuel in 13 states daily.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said the fire had been contained, the Associated Press reported.

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