SUMMERTOWN, Tenn. - One person was killed after a car crashed into a
natural gas line in Summertown.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol said a vehicle went off the roadway on State
Highway 20, crashed into a gateway system for the Lawrenceburg Utility System,
and hit a gas line. The line ruptured, and then exploded around 6:30 p.m.
The driver, 29-year-old Arthur Spence, died on the scene. It wasn't clear how
the vehicle was driven through a chain link fence into the restricted
area where it struck the pipe.
Officials said that crews from the local gas company were called to the
scene to shut down the line, but rescuers had to let the residual gas burn
off before they could get to the vehicle.
The first valve of the line was cut off around 8 p.m. and the fire was under
control by 10 p.m.
Crews were forced to evacuate 75-100 homes within a three-mile area around
the gas explosion. About 200 people were affected, and the Red Cross provided
food and water to them.
"We evacuated a three-mile area around there, which was just a safety
precaution. When you are dealing with a gas pipe line the area can be very
big," said Joe Baxter with Lawrence County Emergency Management.
Officials from the Tennessee Highway Patrol were called to the scene to
assist crews from the Lawrence Fire Department. Crews from the Maury County
Hazmat team were called to the scene.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)